Egrets (in memory of Barry Lopez)

It’s good, he said, the way memory
sometimes slips a gauzy film
between the then and the now,

so that the egrets you’re sure you saw
flapping over the traffic, just above
the parking structure in the Bronx

where you were walking how many
summer mornings ago, the city’s hum
dialing up, the smell of bread from

a bakery, or a bakery truck hacking
spumes of diesel, and three or four
egrets like luffed sails, remaking

incongruity, there they were, and are
still, egrets and not bedsheets tossed
from a high window, three or four, six or

eight egrets and not strewn confetti, not
scraps of notebook paper a city wind
dazzles again into birds, bright flashes

hovering between bird-dream and
reverie of bird, silhouette, intaglio,
origami shadows igniting a city street

and, too, your memory alit and catching,
sometimes, from the corner of an eye
that sudden buffeting flight.