Ghosts of Gulfport Pelicans


A seabird.

Just like the one on the tiny souvenir carving her Mother, the one I never met, sent to me from Gulfport. Swoops down and lands on my back deck in Chicago on a wet hot June summer night.

“I think I’ll try Wisconsin. Or maybe Minnesota. I hear that they have lakes,” the bird says to me. As if it was a matter of fact.

“If only.” I tell the bird.

“We will be back,” says the bird.

“Yeah, that’s what she told me. But I never saw her again.”

“Truer words!” he smiles a pelican grin. “But then I guess you’re not in charge.”

And as the ocean fills with oil, the pelican flies north, and the world poises to rebuild; I remember all those ghosts of summer’s past.

The wisdom in her eyes.

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