metallic beak —
rough striations worn smooth
like rough iron, burnished
feet planted wide–
one fore & one back,
in a combative stance
head low —
beak pointed accusatorily,
swiveling to resettle the eye
then, with flapping wings,
a nanosecond of hover,
and a deft drop onto the column —
the piling of a pier of years long past?
it waits with chin tucked to chest,
perhaps, to look down for fish,
or, perhaps, so that the fish in the water
can’t see the fish flapping in its pouch
or is that only in the cartoons?
long before I’d seen a pelican in person
they’d been popular on the cartoon shows
mind you, not as popular as the storks —
unitaskers who delivered animated babies
precariously — I might add — in loose linen bundles,
clenched into their pointy needle-beaks.
And I can’t remember how the storks landed
without impaling the baby with its pointy beak
or bouncing baby’s head off the ground.
Maybe, that’s why there are so many mentally defective cartoon characters:
e.g. Goofy, Ralph Wiggum, Patrick Star, Chris Griffin…
Not to mention the emotionally ill-adjusted ones:
e.g. Yosemite Sam, Eyore, Pepe LePew, Ariel,…
Because it’s all about sticking the landing.