Lauds, Aberdeen Creek
Kathleen O'Toole

First hints of sunrise
appear in cloud script
on Aberdeen inlet, scattered
with the shrill of osprey
fledglings awaiting the hunter’s
return. A few boats at anchor
yet no one’s stirring. This
is the grateful hour.

The ripple of a fish
beneath the matte green
waters attracts the osprey
parent, its high-pitched squawk
a twirling lasso until
it scissors down
into one angled and accurate
splash. Somewhere,

in a monastery, they
are chanting lauds.
Somewhere up the creek
a waterman’s skiff purrs
its wake above the bottom
crawlers, arranging its trail
of bait, waiting. I’ll wait

for the great blue
heron to drift down,
wings arced toward the east,
as if to honor the light.
No one of us owns
this dawn, pink and unbidden
but each, in its own tongue
can articulate



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