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the sea gull

The Sea Gull

The one-legged seagull king that lived on the last reef
before the ocean began had lived long, longer than gulls normally do
He came from a sturdy breed that for generations had lived
at the edge of land and sea; they knew things other birds didn’t know
On the ferry bound for England the king came onboard, I fed it fine
knowing well the king would be back when the ferry returned 
Other younger birds wanting the space on the last reef, attacked the king
who never more returned; to the ferry boat they circled and shrieked
in triumph demanding preferential treatment, I gave them potato peel
and saved the best leftovers for the gulls on the coast of Newcastle
After years of a zero-sum life having no time for anything, I retired and
bought a cabin far inland, but near a lake that had a wooden pier and
a rowing boat, a place where the trout waked undisturbed.
On the top of the chimney he sat, the old king, waiting just for me.

Copyright © jan hansen