A pirate walks by, bandanna pulled back
tight and an eight year old in tow
both parading along the waterline
unperturbed, city folks and enormous.

They stop at a washed-up seaweed mound
a great bank in size and stench
and consider clambering it, adding to the sum
of their domain, conquering us again

and of being back in Boston tonight
to tell their tale, but the Massachusetts Bay Colony
did a fine job two hundred years before
without need of the Red Sox or I95.

A gull fancying itself a falcon, some Peregrine
of the imagination, wheels and then notches its swoop
into a dive, eyeing the little girl’s haddock sandwich
held in a soft hand while her bigger pirate remains unaware

chewing gum and scratching the balls of his memory.
Invalid response thinks the gull
committed now, the roar of a soundtrack
in his invisible ears or something skwirling instead

if you can imagine a seabird in tartan, the great last Wallace
reclaimed from that silly man for the Seabird Nation
and even now bidding again for their due
in day-old lettuce, salty bun and sauce.

Like so many things (for this is how the work gets done)
it only takes a second, less.
A blur and half the thing is sliced by a beak
that’s surprisingly big, down in a swallow

to the gullet and the gull is rising all in one
and now the girl squawks out while her Captain slowly
swings his head, following the action like a puddle
after the stone’s been sunk.

No respect amongst thieves he thinks
making a gun out of his finger
but a story to tell all the boys about
of coming to this coast in the country.

Pemaquid Beach, Bristol, ME
August 17, 2010