River Fable
by Daniel Pravda

Along the shoreline strewn with the ruins of a school:
cement blocks, bergs of mortar and brick, and rusty pipe daggers,
the human heron pecks for pieces of seaglass.

No Trespassing, it says along the edge of the road broken
by the tide and falling stone by stone into the invisibility of time.
The human heron pours water down its beak.

The scene seems bleak to the mice of the moment,
a school bulldozed and a beach buried by trash and debris.
Turkey vultures circling high above see

the value of vampires and the price of the inevitable.
The human heron fishes a perfect jewel from a crack in the galaxy.
Discrete and incomplete, the human heron rests, takes a breath.

An owl teaches a dragonfly a final lesson in the air. The heron
resumes working west, as high tide climbs toward the road again.


About the Poet: Daniel Pravda is a teacher, explorer and wannabe rockstar whose work has recently appeared in Aji, Apricity, Cedar Creek Review, Dead Mule, Hamilton Stone Review, Jazz Cigarette, Light, The Meadow, Oyster River Pages, and Poetry Quarterly. He teaches English at Tidewater Community College in Chesapeake, VA and, when possible, searches for humanless beaches.