The Invitation

The dead seagull lay huddled in the rocks                                                                                 Its head curved beneath its wings                                                                                                 In a solemn, moribund prayer                                                                                                       The air pricked at its feathers as if the bird still lived                                                           And could feel the salty, impudent fingers

Nature tried to interrupt the corpse’s devotions:                                                                   The air, the ocean                                                                                                                                 Refused to let the deceased blood,                                                                                                 The slowly evaporating DNA                                                                                                           Disperse amongst the shoreline’s lonely cathedrals

I did not take a photograph of the body                                                                                     To create a memory of its sadness                                                                                                 But the grief stays with me:                                                                                                               Of the soft creature prodded by the wind                                                                                 Inviting it to join its salty ranks once more



6 responses to “The Invitation

  1. Our hearts do take it all in, don’t they? It’s difficult sometimes.

  2. Wow, I really dig the inner rhyme in the line “the corpse’s devotions: the air the ocean” is magnificent. you’ve got a wonderful tone & cadence throughout! You paint a clear image of what must have been a sad scene. Thank you!

  3. This is beautiful, Aubrey.

  4. When I think of the millions of birds in the world, it seems astonishing that so much of their life — and death — is so private, hidden from our eyes. It makes moments like this especially poignant. And no photograph ever could capture it as well as your words.

  5. What a sweet, tender, and true tribute to such amazing creatures. I must agree with the other comments. When I witness such a scene, there really is no other way to honor it, other than what you have done so beautifully.

  6. Awesome imagery, I was there standing over that gull, seeing and feeling it all.
    Beautiful use of words. Need to read more of you.
    Would love to see you at


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