Janisse Ray

Creation Story

Across the backbone of barrier spit
toward Goose Island although not that far.

Through articulate and wizened arms
of live oak that gather
lyrics of red-winged blackbirds, cravings

of towhees. Past hunted raceme
of coral bean. Into black needlerush

strung with dew, thigh-cold
and thick.

Neighbor to the marsh wren sunk
from sight, nearness
of limbs, belly of bay flash.

In the skittish crown of a palm

the great blue heron has constructed
her driftwood nest.

Stick upon stick it has evolved.

She guards it growling,
hunch-necked, yellow bill agape,

in her charge.