This morning I watched five white pelicans
floating on the bay.
they bent over the shallow water, feathers fluttering,
heads disappearing as they gracefully ladled up
their daily bread.

Usually, I am here evenings with the summer crowds,
watching as the brown pelicans circle the bay,
whooping as the birds dramatically dive for their supper.

Its feels foolish to admit this now
but I know that the brown pelicans are not jealous
of the way the white pelicans softly float to their banquet.
And I’m certain that the white pelicans
do not long to swoop to their feast from the air.

So the next time I start circling the sky
I think I will simply let myself fall.
I will no longer wish that I were white bodied and gentle
like you, quietly paddling in the morning sun

Instead, I will open myself to the rushing air,
the quick parting of the deep water as I drop
like a bullet-
whether or not there is somebody watching,
and whether or not my aim is true.

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© Melt Magazine 2003