Hôtel de la plage

Yes, I’d like to be a gull ; you guys have no passports.

One of the big fellows from the ship up they quay
Has come to put the question to me.
Officially, so to speak.

He’s taken up his post on the post nearest my balcony.
[His great-grandfather was a master of the mast.]
He says he wants to know how I feel about things in general
And especially if I’d care to share
This croissant I’m holding.

He warns that it’s hard work
Ferrying the wingless back and forth
But I can tell he’s full of bologna
And pizza crusts.

He says he knew right off the bat
That I was a wingless ready to pack it in and become a bird,
But he just laughs when I ask if he’ll teach me the signs.
Not on your herring, mate.

[The wingless, it would appear, have no monopoly
On selfishness.]

For a moment we’re both quiet, admiring the sheen of the water
The pebbles of light scattered by the dark streamers trailing the tug.
When it’s out of sight, he says he’ll get back to me on things
But only after he’s checked out what the men on that far pier
Have hauled up in the nets.

Now they’ve all gone to see.

While it’s true that gulls don’t make war
They do argue. Over everything.
Their diatribes override even the chug
of the returning tug.

Whoever said the sea was quiet
Never had breakfast here.


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