not look up, not yet:
too much to do.
and above the surrounding beach
wheel, pivoting on wingtips
surf propels her,
her to heated sand.
responds to generations,
million linked together
cords stretched, parrot beak gaping,
struggles against this grainy stuff.
easier, water, cool and inky,
sails and dives at will.
blazed sky, the sun
back. Bones under the shell
slow torment. She must hurry,
these flailing legs onward:
scrapes the stones, and her claws,
and hard, sweep the grains.
inch, she wills herself along
discovers that special place
and beyond, in near and far spaces
gather shells, crack into buckets
stars, squeal when they meet
scuttling crab, dance to scatter
hunched and encroaching, the gates
it raw, the belly
twists the iron, the stacks
smoke skyward, and the drains
the gulls, stabbing the blue,
squeal, data screams.
purchases, shares and deals
across the horizon, binding the skies
blink and glitter,
sun pinned in each black.
the odds, she gains the appointed space,
her old rump into the hot, receiving earth,
sweeps back and forth;
gathers up the landscape,
rock and water, embracing ages,
populations rising and dwindling
and children, joys and scourges –
not find their way
her eyes. Light and water,
heat, instinct and discipline
now under circling gulls.
not reveal the destroyer,
scattered and exposed. Sky will not say
beak will pierce which infant.
watching world, she withdraws,
the clutch, heaves herself downward
sea. She will never see these children,
whether it will be three, or two,
itself from its shell
scrabbles across sand and avoids diving birds
the receiving depths
survives the predatory onslaught
and mates and feels then the purpose
crawls upon this beach
hundred million and one
her ancient promise.