So heavy
is the long-necked, long-bodied heron,
always it is a surprise
when her smoke-colored wings open
and she turns
from the thick water,
from the black sticks
of the summer pond,
and slowly rises into the air
and is gone.
Then, not for the first or the last time,
I take the deep breath
of happiness, and I think
how unlikely it is that death is a hole in the ground,
how improbable that ascension is not possible.


Mary Oliver