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The Pelicans

11.11.19 Posted in today's words by

Alison Hicks’ most recent poem to appear here was “Evening Walk” (October 2019).

The Pelicans
By Alison Hicks

You could be swimming along minding your own
when the shock from that body hits. Watch out, fish.
Now that these flyboys are back,

they live to tuck and drill down.
They’ll scoop you up, hinge back their gullets,
snap them shut on a trip you’re not coming back from.

Pelicans fly low up the coast
in formation, with a few strokes,
heads back, scanning the waves.

They used to fly into Fisherman’s Wharf for R and R
until the authorities chased them off.
Rougher and larger close up, lounging on the railings,

strutting in their battered jackets,
peering down their oversized beaks
at the crowds gathered to get a look at the outlaws.

One Response to “The Pelicans”

  1. Ed Zahniser says:

    Lovely, accurate poem, thanks. Brings to the surface the limerick, probably Ogden Nash but possibly David McCord:

    What a wonderful bird is the pelican.
    His beak can hold more than his belly can.
    He can old in his beak
    Enough food for a week,
    And I don’t see how the hell he can.

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