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Donna Hilbert

Donna Hilbert’s latest book is Gravity: New & Selected Poems, Tebot Bach, 2018. Her new collection, Threnody, is forthcoming from Moon Tide Press. She is a monthly contributing writer to the on-line journal Verse-Virtual. Work has appeared in The Los Angeles Times, Braided Way, Chiron Review, Sheila-Na-Gig online, Rattle, Zocalo Public Square, One Art, and numerous anthologies. Poems have been featured on The Writer’s Almanac and on Lyric Life. She writes and leads private workshops in Southern California, where she makes her home. Learn more at


The morning after the slaughter
of hatchlings, a lone heron flies from the west
to a nest atop a palm tree. I walk the beach,
and in everything I see there is Heron:
in the carcass of a tree washed ashore
one root appearing like neck and beak
twisted toward the boardwalk
as if to watch for passersby.

Sometimes I think the eye is like the mind,
intent on meaning, in love with signs,
the way that after your death
I would see you, tall and lean
our dog on leash, distant walker
from land far, far from reach.
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