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Pelicans, prehistoric winter migrants in Mexico 

A wonderful bird is the pelican,
His bill will hold more than his belican,
He can take in his beak
Food enough for a week,
But I'm damned if I see how the helican.

                       Dixon Lanier-Merritt, 1910 



Maybe fifty gregarious flyers, winter visitors happy for their

Mexican holiday

“snowbirds” of the flying sort, welcomed members of the fishing

colony for the season

now the travelers must glide home not behind paid coyotes or

slipping past the border wall at nightfall

this a celebratory sendoff by a scoop of ancient wings

and prehistoric beaks

dripping water in throaty, low pitched coughs, singing salutations

and farewells


Call them a crowd, a fling, a squadron of pelicans aloft on

extravagant northward breezes from open Sea

in an early morning of pushy clouds cavorting against the sun’s

charade of not caring

they share a goodbye in the sky, a recognition of connection,

a community of flyers, visitors

from the north and congregants from Sonora, sharing

a farewell so graceful

it must be choreographed by the sky itself





Copyright © Sharon Lopez Mooney, “Pelicans, prehistoric winter migrants in Mexico ”, originally published in Alchemy and Miracles Anthology, ed. Cassandra Arnold, Gilbert and Hall Press, Calgary, Canada 2023

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