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Pelican

The sun brings one, then another;
later, a trailing afterthought,
their late-waking companion crests
the beach palms, outstretched wings
like arms collecting flowers
only to drop them, with folded limbs, to the sea.
In friendly communion they dive the diamond waters,
each following each,
as if hunting requires
a mysterious humility, a secret decorum,
which, I suppose, it does.
Before submergence, a lifted breath,
the silence increasing
as it does with the commencement
of any ritual or sacrifice
or, perhaps, the moment before
a bow strokes a string,
the wings and waves and watchful eyes
an ancient partita
begun all those millions of years ago
in the overture of cooling grasslands.
With each emergence, the sleek, sated
completed dance, necks rolling then curving enviably inward
to sleepy stillness, a cruel repeating harmony
at rest between the measures.

 

 

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