The old gulls flap into the pool,
float lazily at the 3 foot 6 inch depth.
Where once they plied the surf,
they find the ocean too cold, too rough
for their now feather-light bones.
They face each other in one or two
haphazard circles, the better to exchange
newsy tidbits: directions to the best
seafood places, the merits of red snapper
versus yellowtail. Some keep one eye
fixed on those mischief-making
sanderlings at the deep end,
ready to swoop to their rescue.
When the sun erases shadows,
the old gulls flutter away, still
crak-craking, each to her own condo.
From March Madness.
Used here with the author's permission.