Forgotten Coast Reverie
by Karla Linn Merrifield

Did Kepler discover and name him Jupiter
or was it Galileo? And was he, fifth and largest
in my home solar system, the great one shining
on the Ochlockonee River that morning at dawn?
I judge no Roman god worthy of creating
this confluence where he in the form
of a bird flew to earth to enter my bloodstream and
hammer the fist-sized organ that is my heart to beat
with his marbled wings. Lo, from the mist appeared to me
the red-cockaded one, a relict woodpecker,
small, drab Picoides borealis. Thus, I was not as Leda
taken by a swan; the Greek’s Zeus had nothing
to do with my fleshy embodiment of those feathers,
my lung-filing inspiration of rara avis urgency.

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