Gulls Swooping in and Stealing Ice Cream

for Makenna

just read stories how gulls
shape shift wings
anticipating bailing out, bombing in
after French fries on a pier
behind-the-back Dairy Queen

a child is like the shape shifter
she’s one person, one flight
wing early in life, then wings
change for higher heights

she’ll glide high over father
or in times of trauma
swoop in like a falcon
she’s there one moment
and gone, grown up

estranged by winds of time
adulting they call it now
shiny things away from parents
like crows picking through
jewelry, buttons

a child sometimes soars
away, long journeys like albatross’s
eons gone, over seas and oceans
as the parent loses hardy feathers
father not able to stoke and turn

left with tire-mashed Big Mac
or parking lot Skittles
while child is in full adulthood
able to drag air, lift body
make unhuman moves
hoping one day she
never loses wing power

Seagull eating french fries. (SWNS)

always eyeing the big bag
of caramel popcorn
some silly kid with green
hair holds right there
for easy gull pickings

while father hops on
one good leg near the
waste bin, proud of
daughter gull, sad for time
long gone in those old
winds of his youth

Paul Haeder's been a teacher, social worker, newspaperman, environmental activist, and marginalized muckraker, union organizer. Paul's book, Reimagining Sanity: Voices Beyond the Echo Chamber (2016), looks at 10 years (now going on 17 years) of his writing at Dissident Voice. Read his musings at LA Progressive. Read (purchase) his short story collection, Wide Open Eyes: Surfacing from Vietnam now out, published by Cirque Journal. Here's his Amazon page with more published work Amazon. Read other articles by Paul, or visit Paul's website.