Good Omens

by Christine Potter
The Waters
Second Place, August 2022
Judged by Doris Ferleger

The blue heron, always the blue heron
flying overhead, barking in her strange,
torn voice—but especially whatever it
was that made you look up just before

she spoke. You were living your small
life and she waved the wand of herself
over it. Noticing is what makes room
for a gift, is the thing that translates it

into your language. A little gold-filled
circle pin from the Fifties that fell out
of your mother’s bed when everything
she’d owned finally had to be cast off,

all of it gone, but you were useless with
sorrow you didn’t expect to feel, and your
sister saw it glint—a turquoise pebble
set in it—and she said, You like turquoise,

here. An actual good dream you had, just
before awakening: an airy, Edwardian
house you’d once taught in was suddenly
yours to keep, all three floors of it, and

the light in every room danced with the
Hudson River in all its windows, heron
blue, pebble blue. So you made yourself
hold on to it. You made yourself remember.

The blue heron, always the blue heron/flying overhead, barking in her strange, /torn voice—begins this quietly evocative, meditative poem that contains such beautiful images that entwine with a touching narrative. This is an intimate and honest poem, a revelatory poem: “You were living your small life” says the speaker addressing herself. It is a philosophical poem: “Noticing is what makes room/for a gift, is the thing that translates it into your language.” It is a generous poem, one sister to the other. The good dream is a dream of new light filled river filled dance filled spaciousness for the speaker. The heron is brought back in the last quatrain as a color of the river. I was thoroughly held by the poem. Thank you. --Doris Ferleger