by Mary Oliver
Some herons were fishing in the robes of the night
At a low hour of the water’s body,
And the fish I suppose, were full
Of fish happiness in those transparent inches
Even as, over and over, the beaks jacked down
And the narrow bodies were lifted
With every quick sally,
And that was the end of them as far as we know-
Though, what do we know except that death
Is so everywhere and so entire-
Pummeling and felling,
Like this, appearing
Through such a thin door-
One stab and you’re through!
And what then?
Why, then it was almost morning,
And one by one the birds opened their wings and flew.