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pelican in the dunes 

we went down to the beach through the Ma-le'l Dunes to find the young pelican stranded above the tide
we retrieved her from the rising tide, as the sun slipped behind the offshore wind and the gulls dove and fell in the white frothing surfand plovers ran over the feathered sand
in remembrance of flight she opened her left wing and i covered her with a sheet for the long walk back -- dune mat quivering in the chilled wind. we hurried to the car, the pelican so large and so light, so thin --
from the center of the expanse of the wind-driven sand -- i stopped, not breathless, without knowing why -- i stopped and faced the entirety of the sky. a long look up and around and behind -- the widening sea, the advancing rhyme, the sand alive beneath everyone's feet and the pelican had died beneath her blue and white sheet. 
we took her to the top of an unclimbed dune and placed her so she could -- if she would -- face the sea. what do i know?
i guess i know this: she'd taken a last look around, a lingering goodbye, using my eyes.

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Monte Merrick

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