To An Unseen Loon

Loon © Marianne Thompson

by Barbara Beckwith


Listening for

Your loud loon-laugh

Lets me hear soft sounds

Bushes washing the harbor’s edge

Insect swarms, oardrip.


Searching for

Your long body skimming over water

Leads me to see secret shapes in driftwood,

Read meanings into your unseen deep dives

And surprise surfacings.


If by chance

I ever finally see you,

Mid one wild cry, I may lose you,

Your full mad beauty being half mine.


So if you dive deep and don’t come up

Except where I’m not looking,

I won’t mind.

Don’t let me make a poem out of you.


Barbara Beckwith writes essays, journalism, and poetry, often focused on her experiences with nature. She lives in Cambridge but often visits Gloucester, not to fish, sail, or lounge on its beaches, but to allow its slower pace to renew her writing.

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