We are the birds of god’s design. The spread
of our wings can touch the moon. Our flights
round the earth or even to the Milky Way,
without landing, remain unchallenged.
Like wandering planets, we suspend our wings
over moving ships, guiding them on their journeys
on the unknown oceans. Birds of air, eyes fixed
on the skies, we cry warnings to the unwary.
But proximity with water makes the seafarer
nervous, he kills the very thing that promises him
protection. The signs are misread and the protector
is seen as predator. We fall prey to the fearful.
What returns can be made to us now when
we are to blame for our own extinction?
We, who mate and breed for life, mistake
long lines as food for our young. Watch how
the hungry albatrosses swoop into waters to grasp
the illusory, and get dragged along to drown.
Too heavy to be lifted for food or profit,
we are left to rot at the bottom of the ocean.
Like dinosaurs we will return as skeletons
to museums, specimens of a bygone age.
Birds of wonder, we become redundant for gods
or humans. No one laments us when we perish.
Rani Drew is a poet and writer of short stories and has been published in North American, UK, US, Australian and Indian poetry and fiction magazines. She is also a playwright.