Gulf Coast Flyways

Runner-up-The Booksie 2020 Poetry Contest Runner-up-The Booksie 2020 Poetry Contest

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic


Gulf Coast Flyways

Point on the map to nineteen eighty-eight,
when I sat on the roof of your Thunderbird
parked aside a rice field somewhere
along the backside of Galveston Bay.
Clap your hands, you said, and my palms
wreaked havoc along that Gulf Coast flyway
as a white flurry of water birds
shot skyward against green grain
enveloped by ultramarine.

Point on the map to twenty ten
when I hovered before my computer
unhinged, sobbing over an image
of an egret, splayed and rotted
on a beach along that road
between Galveston and Biloxi.
Blue sky vainly vied for reflection
in blood rusted water.
My hands folded into silent wings
that mimicked a flight
for that bird’s soul.

Hard life happened along that highway
between nineteen eighty-eight and twenty ten.
I totaled your Thunderbird,
you totaled your integrity.
I moved to another state, twice.
You married a yoga instructor.
And then there were storms,
real storms, like Andrew, Katrina, and Rita.
Constant pressures that convinced me
this concrete would crack under the onslaught
unless I held that plaster together
with my own two hands.

And now, the oil.
Oh, I’ll never be an angel,
a white bird flying over rice fields
along Gulf Coast flyways.
But I can learn lessons
and I still have my palms, and I use them
to evoke spirits to rise to great heights,
to embrace shadows of life after life,
to let go of something for a reason,
to paint a memory that is so surreal
that even you may remember me.


Submitted: July 21, 2020

© Copyright 2021 Linda Goin. All rights reserved.

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Comments

cindy040775

I love the way your poem invited me into your experience through time. It offers both great imagery and refreshing intimacy.

Mon, June 21st, 2021 7:18pm

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