Love deeply. Laugh. Cry. Talk to God. Be realistic about the to-do list. Stay in touch. Hug. Dream. Smile. Break Bread often with Family. Spend Time with your Girlfriends. Shop til you Drop! Extend Grace. Be Quick to Forgive and Slow to Anger. Walk. Breathe. Sing. Dance. Read. Eat Chocolate. Savor a Good Glass of Wine. Wiggle your Toes. Sleep well. Life is Good!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Ode to the Pelican

Brown or white, you are the goofiest of birds. Bird of crash dives and the infinite wattle, creature most likely to be caricatured in blown glass,to be carved and clown-painted in Oaxaca.

Albatross of the Gulf, usherer in of fishing boats, even the
psalmist took note: I am like a pelican of the wilderness.
Oh, my soul,if I could shape shift, it would be you, pelican,
and I’d yawp from your roomiest of throats.

Pelican, Pelegrin: on lazy tongues our names alike.
Wing man of my father as he marathoned across
Lake Pontchartrain with blood in his shoes.

Portrayed prolifically in water colors, but rarely the topic of
a tribal tattoo. Selfless Pelican,in stained glass second only
to the dove, feeding your trinity of flightless young with
shreds of flesh and sips of your own blood. On the state flag they’ve sanitized your cannibal love, Louisiana bird.

What can we do for you, pelican? Oil spoiled,washing up on toxic
beaches. Marbled eggs unforming while pious, blackened pelicans sit.

I have been faithless, pelican. All my life I thought you were falling –
reckless, sprawled like Icarus–until you surfaced with a fish.

Blue-gloved hands hold you kindly in a tub, flush saline in your eyes,
give your feathers a toothbrush scrub. You fight by giving up,
unwilling or unable to be saved by us.

-Alison Pelegrin

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