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Wanting to See the Heron
Wilda Morris


She brought her son to see
the heron she’d been told
frequented the wetland.
She’d heard how it stepped
like a drum major, knees bent
and unbent in precisely-
measured steps.
She’d heard you could watch
the heron wait for a fish
to swim by, could see him
snatch it, lift it out of the water
in its beak, swallow it whole.

, she said to the boy,
and they walked in silence
around the pond so as not
to scare the big bird away.
But heron did not come,
only a gaggle of squawking geese.
Let’s go, she said, but her son
clapped his hands as he watched
the geese land, rippling the water.
He laughed at their raucous noise,
then spread his wings and flew
down the path. His mother
laughed and followed.

© by Wilda Morris.
Used with the author’s permission.


Wilda Morris is the author of two poetry collections and two nonfiction books. Fond of walks in the woods, along shorelines or riverbanks, or through towns and cities, she especially enjoys walking with a grandchild or great-grandchild, seeing things through their eyes. Wilda, who lives in the Chicago suburbs, also loves to travel—whether to places she has never been or to those that have become almost like home due to repeated visits. She posts a monthly poetry challenge at


Post New Comment:
There's always something interesting to see at the pond!
Posted 08/26/2023 02:47 AM
Such carefully wrought sounds and scenes. This poem feels as if its one of my own memories.
Posted 08/23/2023 08:20 PM
How subtle, detailed, and wise. Well done, Wilda!
Posted 08/23/2023 05:39 PM
Lori Levy:
Adriana said what I felt about the poem. Beautifully expressed.
Posted 08/23/2023 01:59 PM
Janice Galt:
Loved this, and birds, trees, all sorts of leaves and feathers. Thank you, Wilda!
Posted 08/23/2023 01:51 PM
Arlene Gay Levine:
As Shakespeare said, "All's well that ends well"; a heartwarming poetic reminder.
Posted 08/23/2023 12:14 PM
Maryann Hurtt:
Love this, Wilda! May we all have wings at least at some time of our lives.
Posted 08/23/2023 11:38 AM
This poem sets the stage for what I too am waiting to see and then surprisingly changes the scene to what is the ordinary, in a very extraordinary way, and yet does not disappoint. So very well crafted with precise images. Thanks, Wilda.
Posted 08/23/2023 11:33 AM
Sharon Waller Knutson:
i loved how Wilda started the poem with the reason they were there was to see the heron and ended it with why it didn't matter than the heron didn't appear. My favorite lines were: Shed heard how it stepped like a drum major, knees bent and unbent in precisely- measured steps.
Posted 08/23/2023 11:30 AM
You've captured such a sweet moment, Wilda!
Posted 08/23/2023 11:16 AM
A lovely poem - but I also like the "lesson" that, for her child, the geese were just as thrilling as the heron might have been. "His mother laughed and followed" is a perfect and charming ending and gives us so much more depth than just the words themselves.
Posted 08/23/2023 10:53 AM
Captures a moment perfectly! It reminds me of some of my walks with my granddaughters looking for wildlife.
Posted 08/23/2023 10:08 AM
Joan Luther:
Wilda, I just have to see your name and knowing that the words to follow are going to be a joy!
Posted 08/23/2023 09:26 AM
Yay, Wilda!
Posted 08/23/2023 09:24 AM
Larry Schug:
And the young shall lead. This is a poem of hope. One of the major highlights of spring is the return of the Canada geese to "our" pond, even when still covered with ice.
Posted 08/23/2023 08:46 AM
Very nice. The drum major image, in particularly, is excellent.
Posted 08/23/2023 08:33 AM
Darrell Arnold:
I like this poem, because I have been there. I've seen the Great Blue Heron snatch up a large fish, deftly flip it around, and swallow it down head first. And I've seen those glorious geese glide in and land with their webbed feet skiing in front of them until they stop. If nature doesn't present the wonder you came for, it will surely present you another.
Posted 08/23/2023 08:18 AM
Angela Hoffman:
So lovely Wilda!
Posted 08/23/2023 07:56 AM

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