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If the Egret Could Speak

The photograph, a gusher of truth –

the lone egret, tarred and feathered,

forlorn on the despoiled beach, tears

of black ooze dripping from wings

no longer able to fly, to swoop for

sustenance in the sulphured estuary –

scant days from death. I imagine

being stripped of primal instinct,

the urge to take wing, to dive and fish.

Death, then, brings freedom, a cleansing.

Sadness engulfs me – heavy,

crude and angry. And if the egret

could speak? Might it tell the story

of man doing unnatural things,

boring the ocean floor four miles deep,

the arrogance of it all?

Krikor Der Hohannesian’s poems have appeared in over 275 literary journals including The South Carolina Review, Atlanta Review, Louisiana Literature, Connecticut Review, Comstock Review and Natural Bridge. He is a five-time Pushcart Prize nominee and author of three books, “Ghosts and Whispers” (Finishing Line Press, 2010), “Refuge in the Shadows” (Cervena Barva Press, 2013) and "First Generation” (Dos Madres Press, 2020).“Ghosts and Whispers” was a finalist for the Mass Book awards poetry category in 2011. First Generation was selected as a “must read” by Mass Book Awards in 2021.

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