As she took off in a 737 from West Palm,
one of the engines sucked a pelican into itself
like a least-expected eddy in the Atlantic.
Engine cut, leaving all work to the other,
as the pilots aborted take-off and the passengers
assumed the crash position, fetus-like.
Those are the times, she said later, we look to rebirth.
And she meant us who walk upright and have no wings.
I wish she could know that I’ve remembered this.
Sometimes I feel myself being re-created.
When pelicans swim near, they remind me.
Then they take off, wobbly and angular,
their sling of a bill, their slapping feet gaining speed,
their opening expanse of wings lifting them
noisily, flawlessly, away from the surface.