George Bishop

One Dance

For two sandhill cranes that’s all it took,
a silly one, too, I suppose, on the lake

maybe a few young males hanging back,
shifting their legs to a beat so natural

it couldn’t be heard. It was all heart,
there wouldn’t be another. Weeks later

I watched an alligator stalking an adult
and its colt, swimming the shoreline in

perfect prehistoric harmony with the pair.
When the cranes came to the end of the trail

there was nowhere to go, and the adult
began pecking at the baby with its long,

lethal beak until it was dead, before pushing
off into the air to find its mate. The one.

George Bishop’s work has appeared in Carolina Quarterly & Lindenwood Review. He is the author of seven chapbooks. Bishop won the 2013 Peter Meinke Prize at YellowJacket Press for his chapbook Following Myself Home and his second full length poetry collection, Poor Souls, was recently published by FutureCycle Press. He attended Rutgers University and now lives in Saint Cloud, Florida.



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