White Pelicans by Stephen J. Lyons

If yearning could be measured in wingspan
it would be this cluster of birds, draped
in cumulus white under a grey cover
of drizzle sky that could only be Montana

in June. And an impossible current
that masks the rich world beneath
this floating island of feathers.
What is it about these twenty birds

that brings the word vulnerability
to the lips? The way dim sunlight
filters orange through their thin bills
I trust entirely in crossing over.

Maybe I haven’t been awake
until this instant. Or spent enough
time alone in the cold, spring mud
in genuflection of flight.

Maybe today I’ll learn
what it means to be alive,
finally surrounded, in the middle
of everything all at once.


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(at least I think it’s the same guy)