The helicopter flies twice
over the Rio Grande
reduced to pools
of scum the Great Blue Heron
stands over on one leg.
We follow her tracks
in the dry riverbed,
and the dog finds out
he can’t catch her.
We walk into New Mexico
and see a still, white egret,
unafraid. Three-toed tracks
curve next to the smaller
of a reedy sandpiper.
Among picked over clam shells
and dead carp,
the shepherd dog chows
down on fish heads.
A father and son gather
many minnows from one
of the brackish pools,
and I want to say, Save those
for the siege of herons,
but I am as silent as an owl’s
flight while the helicopter
beats in my ears, and those
invisible inside there inspect
the four of us for alienation.