Michael Schermerhorn


The way my mother speaks of the blue heron
prescribes this Podunk some majesty.

She mentions it most every time we pass
a small section of marsh that punctuates

our drive home. Yesterday the bird was here,
the day before, there. But today—during my vacation stay—

it has fled. If only you had seen it, she says.
I wonder where it’s gone.

The poet in me feels compelled to imagine its bone
structure: the sharpness, the valleys, the way some pieces

look protective and some look thin, malleable
enough to knot or crochet. Yes, this bird

looks crocheted. A prehistoric thing,
a cretaceous beauty.

My mother catches it with its mouth open,
stuck in its song. It has no regard

for posture. It is always unconvinced.
Despite what my mother believes, it is not hungry.

I cannot hear its stomach rumble. Yes, it has a stomach.
Yes, it is filled. As you can see,

there is so much more to this than the bone structure.
As far as I know, this bird could be pink.

As far as I know, this bird has a home furnished
with pastels. This bird has friends, a lover,

more than 10,000 followers on Twitter.

This bird has seen some shit; it’s perched on a lily
by the fishing bridge. At sixteen, I kissed a boy there.

My first time: he and I hit the blunt, then let the smoke hang
between us like morning breath.

He wanted fried food, I wanted to close my eyes—
the bird must have been carrying the whole of its weight

on one leg. So now, as we drive along,
I marvel at my mother gone cross-eyed over

her God’s finest creation and my inability
to even see it.


Michael Schermerhorn is a young poet who just relocated to the belly of Boston, MA. He is currently working on his first book-length poetic study in material culture, queer artistry, and memory. His poems have previously appeared in b(OINK) and are forthcoming in December.