Easter Sunday

and I am seeking the Resurrection,

          down at the lake-line

          thick with blackberry bramble,

the wind a holy prayer

through Spring cat-tail fronds. 

I am troubled and hollow

          and the sun through a thin gauze of cloud

          does not warm me. 

I want to lay here

and awaken in three days

          to find my life somehow


          by an act of grace. 

Heron stalks the shallows

          hunting it’s Eucharist of minnow

                   and duck-weed.

I quietly move toward him in slow half steps.

In one quarter hour I move ten feet.

I ease down and watch.

What act of grace

          grants Heron both patience and flight,

yet leaves me

          anxious and Earth-bound?

What sacrament must I make

          to earn the redemption

          Heron knows from birth?  

I fall asleep

and dream of slow ripples

          on cold lake,

and pollen on water lilies,

and the flash of sun on scales -

          sparking and turning.  

I awaken an hour later

to see the Heron

gazing intently towards me.

He stabs at the water and swallows greedily. 

I am cold.


As empty as the desultory wind

scuffing the bushes around me.

I do not feel touched by the hand of any God. 

Heron knows when the

          fish aren’t there,

                   you go to a new water.

Did Christ, the Fisher of men,

          forsake the empty pond?

Will he return someday

drawn by the scent of our worthy blood? 

Heron is not moved by the lust for new waters.

He is driven by the

          majesty of hunger,

          the grace of survival.

Will I return to this familiar place,

resurrected by my simple desire to exist?....


                   and be hunted....

redeemed by my own blood?..... 

R.S. Russell