Spread like altar linen to rough dry
in the sun, five egrets on a scarlet
bush, black eyes aware, pause
together. Bearing treasure,
one by one they lift, strong
hold, drift towards the sea.

Necks folded, the same birds
wait midafternoon at crosswalks,
dignified, pedestrian. Near
bicycles and passersby they pace
the roadside, on bankers’
long black legs.