Rev. Dr. Fran Bogle, captions her photograph this way: “Threatened roseate spoonbills slowly returning from near extinction are still striving to thrive. They flash hope every time they open their wings. I’d like to be that kind of flasher. How about you?”

God, I want to look in the mirror
and see my inner roseate spoonbill.

I don’t want to sing piously of your eagle wings
or post Emily Dickinson memes on social media.

I want to flash like my own flying flower,
and, even if most say I look more like a football,
I give up trying to match
the current popularity in shape.

I love to wade in the shallow water
of church people,
equally at home in fresh, salt, brackish,
because that’s not always three places,
but one place (during one week).

I want to learn from the bird
who’s been here since the Pleistocene,
and so far has beaten “endangered”
every time,
and, even if my last year
has felt like primordial soup,
I know when to roost
and when to spread my beautiful wings.

I want to be the bird
known as gregarious across species,
nesting and foraging not with my own,
but with others –
heron, ibis, egret –
knowing there is enough for all
if I do not hoard for the future
but just fly lightly
with my spoon(bill) hanging out.

God, I want to be that kind of flasher,
just like you.


Maren C. Tirabassi’s newest book is “Christmas Eve at the Epsom Circle McDonald’s and Other Poems” and she blogs at She’s a UCC, US, pastor and a writer and lives in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.


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