Today I swam, silent, behind my daughter

through cool water, the wind a touch,

riding low waves, green and silver,

following the signs she is teaching me

in my new deafness:  H.e.r.o.n.  D.o.c.k.  Come.


Her head bobbed, a dark seal, past Jean's dock

and submerged rocks, out onto the open lake

and the rougher waters of the drowned river channel,

Tim's pier then and the neighbors' past, and there, See.

A gray shape under the silver Xs of the pipes,

stilt-legged, slow. The heron.


And my daughter tracking him.

She turned to point and I bobbed my fist to say, Yes.

Yes, I see him. Yes, I see you. You have led me to a good place.


She raised her camera in its pouch,

head and camera blending in the bright of the water.

He stepped along the shore, and she followed.

Brown against brown, I saw her take her shot,

shadow stepping into light, the jab for fish,

then, tall against blue and cloud, head lifted,

iconic bird of water and rock and sky.


Heron and girl fixed in my gaze.

I saw her glide to the bird through the silver, close,

so close she looked up to see him and I marveled he did not take flight.

And I took my own picture, having no instrument but my heart

to say, Look and remember: here is the one I have loved in this life

learning to see, learning to live. 

—Sarah Webb

—Heron by Amanda Webb