Pelicans are the color of water and light
On a soft day with a long memory.
Pelicans swim in time--

And have in every moment
Since the beginning of time.

In every moment
There is both poised silence and play.

They don’t see us.

The gulls scold and flee.
Sandpipers and willets dash away.
Cormorants turn their heads
And flex their wings.
They see us.

Pelicans remain aloof.

They remind me of the lesson
My mother taught me
When my daughter was young
And, once in a rare while,
Engaged in attention-seeking

If you don’t make eye contact,
My mother said,
It never happened.

There was grace.
An escape clause.
The opportunity to start afresh.

The pelicans,
I believe,
Are waiting us out

The way,
Once or twice,
I waited out my daughter.