by Madeline Tiger

The huge grey gull
over the Jersey Turnpike
steely as Amtrak

crosses long above this
congestion, soars
toward the seashore

his wings waving slowly

His beak points beyond
our dull metal,
grey as we’ve made him

He’s traversing our lines
of bright cars, hot motors
rushed and stalled
in their own fumes

Far up he glides, he is
pointing to shining water,

to the waves that glisten –
ripples, breakers
with fierce bursting crests—
and when he squawks out there,

his cry leaves a whiteness
in the mind of the driver

…From The Earth Which is All by Madeline Tiger, 2008 (featured in the New York Times article “Selected Works by New Jersey Poets,” 1/2/2009)

Photo: “Seagulls at the Jersey Shore” by Amy Pospiech