On a rock over the water hyacinth,

facing away from the setting sun

a great blue heron stood runic.

To move would have been a translation

of wings from the language of water

and stone, of coursing across

permanence, to the language

of sky, wind, clouds, the realm

of uncertainty.

Impatient, my mind

on the tasks of dailiness, I turned away,

but hesitated (that’s all!) and turned

back to stone, to white flowers,

to the heron already flown.


From Bodies of Light, permission by the author




En una piedra sobre el jacinto acuático,

de espaldas a la puesta del sol,

una garza azulada se quedó rúnica.

Moverse hubiera sido una traducción

de las alas del lenguaje del agua

y de la piedra, atravesando

la permanencia hacia el lenguaje

del cielo, del viento, de las nubes, y del reino

del incertidumbre.

Impaciente mi mente

en los quehaceres de lo cotidiano, me di la vuelta

pero dudé (¡es todo!) y me volví

piedra, flores blancas,

y me convertí en la garza que se había volado.


De:  Bodies of Light, Cuerpos de luz, con permiso del autor



Athena Kildegaard has authored six books of poetry and is co-editor of an anthology of poems about motherhood. Her poems have been set to music by a variety of composers. She has received grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board & two fellowships from the Lake Region Arts Counci

*Translated by Sarah Degner Riveros