A Gull Goes Up

Gulls when they fly move in a liquid arc,
Still head, and wings that bend above the breast, 
Covering its glitter with a cloak of dark,
Gulls fly. So as at last toward balm and rest, 
Remembering wings, the desperate leave their earth, 
Bear from their earth what there was ruinous-crossed,
Peace from distress, and love from nothing-worth, 
Fast at the heart, its jewels of dear cost.

Gulls go up hushed to that entrancing flight,
With never a feather of all the body stirred.
So in an air less rare than longing might 
The dream of flying lift a marble bird.
Desire it is that flies; then wings are freight 
That only bear the feathered heart no weight.

This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on January 7, 2023, by the Academy of American Poets.