Visiting the Pelicans, Fort Smith

April 23, 2019

(for Patti Kay & Terry)


From a distance, coming out of the woods,      

the birds look bright—a blur of sunlight        

and painted white wings, stretching.         


They fish by a rocky shore, their long necks          

reminding me of question marks against                

white water: these rhetorical avians.          


High above, in flight, they are only grace.       

Feathers swirl in circles, gathering sky,          

searching for flash of silver fin or scale below.   


They fish in the rush of rapids, but we step back,

mindful of the river’s power. Watch our feet,

careful not to be swept away, caught up. 

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