They want for nothing—the blue heron
the snowy egret— salt of their lives
here in the marsh at sunset

This is how it is if you follow the Coopers
Hawk in cold winter air, sun crowning head
feathers as it wings away

This is how it is, delta wind over cord grass
and black rush, how it dries the outstretched wings
of the cormorant, earthbound thunderbird

Here in the marsh, mallards skate
to landing. The Blue Winged Teal
and the Green Winged Teal scatter

in iridescent color in Six Mile Creek
where sun sketches that last-minute trill
of color, and breezes edge toward December

Fiddler crabs scuttle over pluff mud and even
the White Pelican can be seen near river water
on sand bars, gathering against spume

This is how it is when you feel the silky cool rush
of air at your cheek—to be on the wing in winter
Salt of our lives here in the marsh at sunset

Libby Bernardin

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