He suffers no jokes about chickens
crossing the road or who said stop.
The bird waits for the light
to turn green, looks both ways,
then steps a webbed toe off the curb.
He squawks at the surprise of a red
convertible cutting him off –
tires burn blacktop.
The gull gives the driver the bird,
white wing raised high,
feathers curled like a fist,
except for one upright strand.
A man walks his dog down State Street.
The leashed dog offers a dumb & adorable smile,
doesn’t bark at the seagull crossing the street.
The man, call him Mark, stops to watch, jaw open.
He wonders if the gull forgot it is a wing soaring bird, able
to take to the crooked sky, with no envy of human legs
like its fellow mariner, the lonely mermaid.
Can the seagull dance the funky chicken?
Mark laughs, so does his dog.
What a riot, his dad would say, if he were there.
The bird takes its time crossing the street.
He struts, then takes an awkward hop backwards,
seems deep in thought as if solving the world’s pollution problems.
When he reaches the other side of the street,
a great blue heron flies overhead,
reminds the bird what wings are for.