The Seagull Event, A Poem by Chris Russell

The sailboats were flying. A little too fast. The wind had just picked up out of the west, and some seemed to be really struggling to keep up with it. Vessels were toppling over. The area was starting to look like a mine site. I’d just gotten my pilot’s license and Randy and I were flying over Franklin Lake, when a seagull flew into the engine. “What did you just do?” Randy said. “I told a seagull that happened to be flying by to fly into the engine,” I said. “I thought you were going to say something really serious,” he said. “Like I’m having a heart attack, take the stick or this is the end?” I said. “John Denver here we come,” he said. I landed the plane, and we drove downtown to the regatta finish line, but there were no people, just seagulls. They were staring at us.  “Seagulls don’t eat people, right?” Randy said. “Wrong,” I said. I picked up a cane somebody had left behind, and started swinging. Randy began flapping his arms like a bird and lifted off the ground. “Fight it, Randy,” I said. “How do you fight something like this, something you can’t possibly understand?” He said. “What about you turning into a seagull don’t you understand?” I said. Seagulls were coming out of the overturned boats and storefronts and lining up as if waiting for marching orders. “I’ve kind of always wanted to be a bird,” he said. “You would say that,” I said. “I guess I’ve always been kind of like one,” he said. “There was the time you jumped off your roof,” I said. “You’re right! Good memory,” he said. Then Randy turned into a seagull. He kept trying to talk to me I think but I couldn’t understand him. “You’re the best friend I ever had, and I love you very much,” I said. Then he did something with his neck, and the birds started toward me.

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