My mother called again today.
Where did I live? she said.
I reminded her she used to live
in Clearwater. Belleview Biltmore.
Indian Rocks. Remember
the white sand, I said. Remember
the palms. When my father died,
I went for a swim in his pool.
It seemed the only thing to do.
I know now a black-crowned
blue heron came to watch. I
learned his name from a book.
You could see Sand Key,
I told my mother. From your balcony.
The Gulf of Mexico beyond, I said.
And just below your window:
cormorants, snowy egrets,
in the little inlet clotted
with mangrove. I looked them up
as I spoke, these names
I never sought
in all the Florida years. Lesser
frigate bird, black-browed
albatross. Anhinga. Sounds
nice, my mother said. I think
I remember now. Tomorrow,
we'll begin again. Swallow-
tailed kite, little night heron.