Angelina Oberdan

Why Some Pelicans Stayed on Breton Island, Before the Hurricane

On the shore, a man helps his son cast and reel a line.
The boy swings his feet to the restless beat of the waves.
He stares at the line with an intensity
he believes will force it taut with the weight of a fish.
At ten, he’s never known a catch-less Saturday.  

A few hundred feet away, a pelican tucks her eggs,
hunkers into her marsh grass nest,
and glares over the reiterating waves.
She knows that the fish have buried themselves
deep under the water,
that the pelicans with empty nests have flown.
She tries to close her blue-white eyes
against the gossip of the waves.      

The boy’s father is lounging:
leaning on his palms, stretching out his legs.
He watches his son, and remembers a younger child
who never worried over fishing,
who never thought there could be no fish.

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