Claude Wilkinson

What is it you’ve looked at 
            that quickened your next breaths,

left you beholden, stunned 
            with its essence in the earth: 

perhaps an ungainly buzzard, 
            of all things, unafraid and staying 

high on the wing while buffeted 
            about like a plume of soot

against rolling storm clouds; 
            that glittering carp swum 

from its cover of amber water, 
            flashing now and then 

along the clear shallow, 
            so at home even without our air;

symbios is made flesh 
            as morning’s white herons

shop a low river 
            and fringes of swamp pink;

or, just making their flight into open field 
            beneath November’s yellow canopy,

the suite of honey-colored, tined, 
            rut-ready bucks 

glimpsed through the lens 
            of such golden noon light?

Issue 11, 2019, pg. 10