Notes From Tibbett’s Point

Worn foil expanse, flat, the St. Lawrence, gold toward Lake Ontario.

Low light through emerald-blue waves

breaks on the stone shore.

A seagull cruises low over field of cut hay, 

snatches mouse in mouth

and flies beside me as I cycle past Burnham Point.

The mouse struggles, dying, gull changing grip

cautiously. Eyes me before banking high into the wind

heading over the River.

Seagulls are genius, unlikely,

a misfit, mottled bunch. Robust, longwinged, omnivorous.

Dad feeds a lone gull behind his house,

throws bread to the one bird

and in moments twenty or more. Squeal-calls, “eeeoh, eeeoh, eeeoh!”

The communicative scouts work so well as a group but

fight still for pecking order.

I’ve always watched them on long wings, head low

turning, scavaging through rocks and driftwood on the great curve of the shore;

beach glass, dead stiff fish

and twig-dry bones for what? I never thought a mouse.

Look toward me

and away, agile and breathtaking white

against the dark water and sky,

disappearing around the point.

Or coming down onto dumpsters in a parking lot

huge groups loitering and rooting,

or a grey-freckled one bobbing in the bay asleep and alone

or in groups again. Bold and loud like a crow, graceful like nothing,

wings gently bent at elbow.

Summer ’99

Published by pedalpoet

Poet, writer, and songwriter living in Seattle, WA

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