Thursday, January 18, 2018
"Tennessee Seagulls" by Gene Hodge, Frequent Contributor & Poet of the Week
It’s only a notion . . .
that I park in the mall’s
vacant parking lot
to watch a flock of seagulls
swimming on an asphalt ocean.
Curious as a child,
I observe a distraught Styrofoam cup—
victimized by the cold December wind—
as it tumbles across a sea of parking spaces.
It stops right in front of me
and spins like a playful toy top.
But this is not recess for the gulls.
Their destitute foraging
is dependable on a visitor’s car,
a bag of popcorn, a hand out the window,
white kernels, like snowflakes
flying in the wind.
Poet’s Notes: It was a cold, windy day, and I was tired from Christmas shopping. I thought if I could just sit in this empty parking lot and catch a short nap, I could be refreshed. Sitting there, I observed a flock of seagulls—hundreds of miles from the ocean—flocking together to stay warm. A few moments later a car stopped near them. Someone reached out the window and scattered a bag of popcorn into the winter wind.
Editor’s Note: What an interesting experience! The mirage of the blacktop as the ocean and the misplaced seagulls are certainly metaphors for many things. Also, I'm a sucker for anything with seagulls in it :)