Birding for Beginners
After Mary Oliver’s “The Swan” and “Wild Geese”
“Did you, too, see it” resting all morning on the exposed ledge at the river?
Did you see it unmoved by the cormorants and the buzz saws,
its neck curled into itself in regal repose?
No need to be labeled by name or species
but only to be planted by its own nature exactly where it landed
and for as long as it pleased.
Not boastful or haughty, not stalwart or shallow,
only, as Mary Oliver once intoned,
“how it pertained to everything. . . . ,”
never knowing beauty or ruin, poetry or damnation,
only realizing itself and, as Mary said,
“announcing [its] place in the family of things.”