Consider the Cormorant
By Miriam O’Neal
After three days of rain, Scituate’s cliffs
straddle the horizon —
the furthest slash of coastline seeable
from Manomet Point. And I consider
the cormorants below, balanced on barnacled shoulders
the low tide has exposed, wings wide open
in a tableau of flight, black backed, chests
tufted white, orange feet spread wide, a streak
of guano trailing behind. Beaks into the wind they know how
to stand as if hanging in the thermals,
red crowns flittering. It’s a matter of survival,
this ability to balance on a shat upon rock.
Sometimes life’s like that when we’re paying
attention. We learn that follow-through takes a while —
that some days it’s enough to perch in the light.
It’s just, sometimes the weight of water’s more
than November’s sun can disburse —
we’d like to fly, but know we have to wait.
Copyright © 2021 by Miriam O’Neal.