Water Ouzel


This is the 22nd poem in Valley of Blue Hope: Poems Before and After Diagnosis of Cancer. https://www.createspace.com/4598960


In those days when I wielded my fly rod on a Montana stream every chance I had, I would often come across an amazing brown bird. It would not fly away as I splashed forward in my waders, but would disappear under water. I wondered what it was, and what it was doing under the rushing water. I learned that the bird was a water ouzel, a word that I immediately fell in love with, or American dipper.


Water Ouzel


Most fly through air and feed aloft

or on solid ground. I fly through water

and catch bugs before they’re winged.

I don’t bob for algae, but plunge below

and face the future of water and waste

with nictitating lids. Sated, I rest on boulders

teasing oil onto my feathers and whistle

and trill my quizzical songs of hope.