Intersitital Moment:

This is a poem about the gull George that I fed and took care of in the garden till he was ready to fly off.

Goodbye to the Gulls

For two weeks, down the flue,

from their nest on the chimney pots,

the black-backed gulls cackled and called,

spitting out bird words—food, flight, danger.

When the baby slipped down the slant

of the canted roof and landed in the patio,

Aal fluff and legs, screaming for food,

his beak wide open for hours at a time,

I thought I’d go mad with the noise.

Yet for three long weeks I fed him,

named him George or possibly Georgette,

with baby gulls it’s hard to tell.

I ducked when Mama Gull dived down at me,

crying out danger, food, flight, all of the above.

For three long weeks I watched over George

feeding him crackers., cooked chicken, bread.

He always demanded more, in that insistent

creak of a voice., and well-trained, I supplied it.

Four days ago, fully fledged, he flew

over the garden hedge, into the town

where gulls scream all day and all night long,

and the residents complain, their voices

louder, trilling their Scottish r’s

like kettles on the boil.

As for me, strangely, I miss the gulls

who all flew off after George,

carrying their cacophony with them.

The silence is worse than the cries.

© 2010 Jane Yolen All Rights Reserved

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