With giant sacks of cheap and greasy chips
Gripped tightly in our hands
We pick our perches well,
Beneath the beachside table roof,
Our legs and feet tucked up
So no part sticks beyond the rim.
(We parked our car a hundred feet away.)
At first there are no birds, or just a few;
But when we toss the first chip on the sand,
Screaming they swirl upon us from all sides.
And now begins a test of trust
As bit by bit we tempt them to our fingertips.
Finally the bravest birds will hover there,
Plucking food from our fingers,
Snapping snacks from midair.
And when the chips are gone and we are done
And the gulls have sailed silently down the shore,
We sit in simple satisfaction
From reaching out to life.