It is less than three weeks,
and 20,000 birds may have died
in the oil disaster in
So many feathers used to fluff the wind,
It is not over.
Birds are still being found and as they preen, they ingest more oil.
The oil could be a problem for ten to twenty years.
Birds are not just decorative, scenery for sea and sky.
These ducks and seabirds –
surf scoters, Western grebes, common murres,
Clark’s grebes, Brandt’s cormorants, greater scaups
and eared grebes,
are varied as we.
Some are local, some come for the winter,
and others are tourists pausing and making a deposit
as they journey on through.
What rumbles through bird lore now?
What tales are told, and to whom?
This spill of manmade fuel oil
is not as easily broken up as crude.
It sticks in globules, goes in and out with the tides,
resists microorganisms, is as arrogant as those
who dismiss that we live
in circles, not hierarchies.
We need to honor how each bird
lifts more than our eyes with its wings.
Some days the bay sparkles, and other days
it is still, and stagnant as though silenced,
knowing that licking its wounds, may kill.
We are meek now, humbled, bowed,
our attempts to travel easily as birds,
I walk and a pelican circles overhead,