While in a seaside bistro, tired and bored,
I gazed into an icy gin and tried
With what appeared to be a tiny sword
To spear an olive slyly gone aside.
Then, glancing through the window toward the dock,
I saw a pelican at flagpole height
Transform himself to sonic stooping hawk
And hit the bay like plunging satellite,
Exploding waves with one horrific smack.
Immersed, then nonchalantly bobbing up
Again, he gulped with zest the crash-dazed snack,
His brimming beak his now capacious cup.
And then, for reasons I cannot explain,
Forgotten strivings I could now recall of
Furtive schemes, defeats and futile gains
Appalled —I gulped my drink but left the olive.
Republished with permission of "Lyric," Vol. 82, 2002