Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Charlie the Seagull

In those days, an old seagull named Charlie,
came to his perch on the porch
every mealtime,
waiting for scraps from the children's plates.
He was a bit ragged around the edges,
a hardscrabble old mariner.
If I were slow in bringing out his meal,
he aimed his gaze at me,
and I hurried up.

Down below, the waves lapped
peacefully and rhythmically
on the shore.
The sound gave me comfort.

Upstairs, was the store
where I earned our living,
dawn to midnight.
Another ragged around the edges male
made brief appearances,
to palm money from the till
and go out drinking.

All that winter, his anger seethed.
All that winter,
as my baby grew in my belly,
I worked and worried.

In the summer, he closed the store
"for renovations", and  took us
to my mother's house.
Within weeks, the store burned down.
When there was no insurance money paid,
due to the suspicious nature of the fire,
he was on his way.

I often wonder where
old Charlie the seagull went,
when his perch was gone
and I wasn't there to feed him.
I never wondered much
about the man.

for Sumana's prompt at Midweek Motif: Birds


  1. Wow Sherry...this is such a fabulous poem- personal, poignant, powerful. Am so moved.

  2. Down below, the waves lapped
    peacefully and rhythmically
    on the shore...

    Such a beautifully profound write :D

    Lots of love,

  3. Oh... ! Better to have a relationship with a seagull
    than a guy like that:)

  4. A sorry tale, indeed....often the bird is more interesting than the man, begging for handouts, and leaving in the summer. Sometimes we don't know when we are well off. Don't know when we are lucky.

  5. In another life, I also fed the sea gulls, I miss them, and wonder if they miss me too?

  6. That third stanza is just brilliant, and I love the close!

  7. Oh my...your closing brings me chills...I'd have wondered about Charlie, too. Amazing poem, Sherry!

  8. Your tone invites laughter, and yet what a sad story! You've hinted at it before, but I like the direct telling and the comparison between the unfortunate man and the unfortunate seagull. The most unfortunate of all was the narrator who also lost her perch and two needy fellows and was left with mom to have her baby, a more loving one to feed.

  9. Luv your juxtapositions. The lapping waves/ the turmoil of the working woman. Missing Charlie as against missing the man in her life.
    Profound contrasts

    Much love...

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  11. Who needs a man when you have a seagull named Charlie, even if the seagull is only in your memory?

  12. What a great story poem this is Sherry and so easy to visualize the gull, the store and the man and the feelings invoked.

  13. What a poignant poem Sherry! I pity the souls who love to burn the bridges creating havoc in their own life as well as those attached to it...

  14. Ha ha! I smiled about you thinking about the seagull but not the man!!! One has to have one's priorities. LOL.

  15. The ending made me laugh a bit..and yes waves do bring comfort..

  16. Wow, great pull for emotion on the seagull in this piece. Maybe ragged but at least maintained some of his own nobility.

  17. Oof. Lol. Sounds like good riddance, except for Charlie, of course!

  18. Oh Charlie must have found another home in distress! Karmic balance is associated with the soul, not body. Eventually, Karma brings a kind of cosmic justice, where the unseen forces of karma go about levelling things out and bringing balance.
    Your poem touched me deeply, sherry. Beautifully written as always!

  19. There is a great sense of having flown on from the past in this tender poem Sherry - and i love the concluding lines..i think many a creature is sent to watch over us when we most need them - thankfully

  20. Wish, I had words of wisdom, to share, Sherry, but they have fled me. May Charlie live to, a ripe old age, have many generations follow him.

  21. The nature of man often sinks below the character of nature.
    Great prose Sherry thanks for bringing Charlie back to life.


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