The Dipper

By Kathleen Jamie


It was winter, near freezing,
I’d walked through a forest of firs
when I saw issue out of the waterfall
a solitary bird.


It lit on a damp rock,
and, as water swept stupidly on,
wrung from its own throat
supple, undammable song.

It isn’t mine to give.
I can’t coax this bird to my hand
that knows the depth of the river
yet sings of it on land.

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