How the Skimmer Lives


The black skimmer lives a steady life.

Each morning it shakes the little sleep

From its magnificent wings, and

Breathing quickly so as not to miss a step

Takes off.


The black skimmer takes off flying,

Beating its great wings against morning’s air,

Tilting right then left, then tracing a unique curve

Until it dips into the bay, and

With its great orange mandible

Snatches the tender young fish

Into its silvery gullet.


The black skimmer repeats

This tilting and dipping until it is full

Either with tender young fish

Or with disappointment, and

Joins its flock to rest upon the shore.


--February 19, 2013