The Seagull

by Maggi Roark

Walking alone along 
a deserted pier in the early 
morning mist, I heard a frenzy 
of wings and screeching. 
Near the top of a lamppost 
a seagull hung, upside down
thirty feet in the air. One 
yellow foot was tangled

in a fragment of fishing line
left behind among the plastic bags
and bait and stale French fries. 
Desperate to pull away 
he crashed and slammed 
against the iron pole. 
Beneath him I stood frozen 
until his high-pitched wails

jump-started my fingers
to dial for help. A recorded 
message asked for my number.
I watched his movements slow
Help’s coming, I whispered, hold on. 
But his weary neck hung loose
defeated wings fell open. Silence 
thickened into the damp morning air.

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