For Rick Barot
The definition of metaphor
is the transfer of burden,
so pay attention.
There is the heron of my longing:
the curve of neck, stilt of legs,
blue, breakable, prone to flight.
The summer of my certainty:
lit with streaks of a fox’s tail
slipping back into the woods.
The house of my mother’s madness:
worn front steps lost
to waist high weeds and debt.
Now watch a small bird building
her nest inside a watering can,
darting each piece of straw through
the one round opening.
Imagine a young chick learning
to fly by launching itself skyward,
the stunned drop to the bottom,
rattle of wings inside metal,
mocking blue coin of sky,
and name it.