Thursday, June 4, 2009

Old Seagull


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Old Seagull

One old white seagull prowled wet grass
near brick buildings, looking for worms.
It walked arthritically and seemed chilled.

A lone, hunched seagull is a dignified
defeat, a sign of how hopeless hope is.
Was the bird's eyesight still good enough

to see worms? Did the bird ache? Do
seagulls fly back to the beach to die,
or do they get stranded on a street,

eaten by a crow or a raccoon? The
seagull was a general in exile,
a feathered Napoleon on Elba.

It was a heroic nun, a white flag
hanging from a wall of a blasted fort.
The gull seemed to know everything.

It kept its routine of life.
Walking past, I admired the bird,
which ignored me, which I admired.
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Copyright 2009 Hans Ostrom
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