Umbrella
A Journal of Poetry and Kindred Prose


Ruth D. Handel

is a poet, writer and teacher. She has published a chapbook, Reading The White Spaces (Finishing Line Press, 2009), and poems in a variety of journals including Common Ground Review, Westchester Review, The Jewish Women’s Literary Annual, Clockwise Cat, and Evening Street Review.

She teaches poetry courses and workshops in poetry writing, gives poetry performances, and manages the Poetry Caravan, a volunteer organization of thirty poets who bring poetry to the community.


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Same One

The egret is back, I tell everyone.
Look, there it is on the Bronx River,
a snowy egret—black bill, corkscrew neck
long delicacy of leg and yellow feet,
motionless
white silhouette,
an intensity
of stasis
staring
downward
at the edge of the water.

I call it the egret as if it is the same
bird returning every year
to the place on the river.
Even when I see an egret upstream
or on one of the ponds further south
I call it the egret
as if there is only
one.
It is so complete
in its
focus,
so self-contained
in its
solitariness
I cannot imagine duplication.

There it is again. I am
like Piaget's small son
on a walk in the woods
delighted at seeing
what he thought
was the same
snail
appearing
over and
over.