Blue Heron

An untangled ampersand
stalking through shallows
with epic stealth
to impale a slippery
pickerel in its staid beak.

Studying the way it studies
the water—deciphering the specs,
paginating the ripples and context-
ualizing the illuminations—
one need no longer
wonder by whom
the first master lesson
in martial arts
was dispensed.

Connolly Ryan was born in Greenwich Village, New York in 1967. He is currently a professor of literature at University of Massachusetts, Amherst where he was thrice a finalist for the Distinguished Teaching Award. His poetry has been published in various journals including Bateau, Ditch, Umbrella, Citron, Satire, Scythe, Slope, Meat For Tea, Pannax Index, Satire and Old Crow. He is also a multiple Pushcart nominee. He has two finished manuscripts: Fort Polio and The Uncle Becky Chronicles.