Today's poem is by Rose Kelleher

Rays at Cape Hatteras

The cownose rays are showing off today.
They flip themselves like flapjacks over pans
of Carolina surf, and when one lands,
the splat reverberates a mile away.
Sometimes you see the backs of their whale-gray
pectoral fins, outstretched like flipper-hands;
or else they show their bellies as they dance,
white slabs with grins carved out, as if from clay.

In great outlays of energy, they burst
through breakers, moved by some instinctive wish
to flounder in the air. Their flight is brief
and clumsy, evolution having cursed
these would-be herons with the flesh of fish:
rude fliers in the face of disbelief.

Copyright © 2005 Rose Kelleher All rights reserved
from Eleventh Muse
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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