There's something wrong with me, says the black
                                  cormorant, my
            body is too heavy or
something, even at rest I don't float
                        like other water birds, I
half-sink. I don't look right, I

know that. I'm not actually
                                 sinking, but why don't I
           float, why does my neck
stick up at an angle?
                      There's something
wrong with me.

"When we loop around this way," shouts Jay
                                Segal, "there's a headwind
           going out and coming back."
Fine, I sarcastically think
                       and bike behind him like a bird
so he can break the wind. More shouting:

"Does that help?" Answer: No.
                                 Why not?
            It helps other people but doesn't help
me. Pedal pedal too damn
                       much wind too hard. An
avocet runs right in front and all around

birds land and dive. Not that you could call it Nature here:
                                  landfill with a narrow cinder path;
             naked industry across the bay.
On the other hand there are these
                       birds, some duck's lifted
terra cotta tail, egg-yolk eyeliner

long curved beak.
                                  If only
           they or I or the wind
would stop! Maybe there's a lesson
                     in the movement of the swift:
sinking and fighting forward, sinking and fighting
up. "It's a tough life," I puff in sympathy.
                    irritates the bird.
Working the wind the swift repeats,
                      "There's nothing wrong with me.
It says in the book I sail between spurts,

not all the livelong day."
                                So true!
           But wait: is this bravura on its part
or self-acceptance?
                       Look in the book
to see what it says about (pedaling

pedaling) me. "Sometimes it takes this type
of person months
to know
an outing wasn't fun."


Linda Bamber