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A Seagull in Winter ©

Elizabeth Johnstone
Welwyn Garden City

Gliding high above the cold grey shingle,
Gallus as a Glasgow keelie,
Doon the watter for a rerr terr.
He has a right good look at it all.
The Calmac ferry lurches over a lumpy sea.
Café windows drip,
As old folk slurp tea and munch shortie
Between the rituals of bingo and woollen mill.
The dirty yellow foam of the tide,
Sweeps in the leavings of the Firth,
And the wind whips salty spray
Into a penguin huddle of pensioners.

The seagull wheels overhead,
One predatory eye fixed on his domain.
He swoops.
A squawk, a cackle,
And your fish supper is away.

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