Wan oxymoron of a fish, dotted
dun and fledge winged, mud-feathered when
it glides through silt, by nature bottom fed.
Whoever named it named himself a man
of undisputed Christian eye,
who saw in mortal depths a guardian
and humblest trumpeter. God tongue to cry,
it haunts an earth too dread for dread-
filled man til rapture calls: Arise and fly.
|Published by American Poetry Journal, 2004. Copyright © 2004 by Hailey Leithauser. Used with permission. All rights reserved.|