Pulling myself up the steep embankment
after the running trail I’d been on petered
out, turned upwards, died in a ferny patch,
I use the trunks of trees to counter
the downhill pull, give myself a shower
each time—rains having freighted them—
when one slippery birch releases
a grey feathered mass that falls into flight,
lifting heavily on creak and caw of wings—
Great Blue Heron—already careening out
over the Connecticut river before the name
comes to me.
David Allen Sullivan teaches English and Film at Cabrillo Community College in Santa Cruz, California, where he edits the Porter Gulch Literary with his students, and serves on the Veterans Task Force Committee. Three poems from his ﬁrst book, Strong-Armed Angels, were read on The Writer’s Almanac by Garrison Keillor. Every Seed of the Pomegranate was about the Iraq war in multiple voices. Black Ice is a book of linked poems about his father’s dementia and death, and an award-winning chapbook came out recently, Take Wing. He lives with the historian Cherie Barkey and their children, Jules and Amina Barivan. His website is: davidallensullivan.weebly.com.