By Carol Smallwood

My grandfather called the birds, seagulls, that

followed his plow in spring. They were so very white

against newly turned soil—so far from the sea


When Jonathan Livingston Seagull arrived,

I poured over and over the paperback willing

Jonathan’s hard won wisdom to become part of me


Walking the beach after divorce, I wondered

if the curious speckled seagulls following me

were young or old


In a new city, a seagull walked in circles

and was told: “They die like that from



Now I wonder if seagulls migrate—

and why I hadn’t before


Carol Smallwood co-edited (Molly Peacock, foreword) Women on Poetry: Tips on Writing, Teaching and Publishing by Successful Women Poets (McFarland, 2012); Compartments: Poems on Nature, Femininity and Other Realms (Anaphora Literary Press, 2011) was nominated for the Pushcart. Women Writing on Family: Tips on Writing, Teaching and Publishing, (Key Publishing House, 2012) is her most recent book. Her sixth anthology for the American Library Association, Bringing Arts into the Library, is forthcoming. Some magazine credits include: The Writer’s Chronicle, English Journal.

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