15 April 2010
I have seen seagulls in Wyoming for several days now. I cannot think that they are here by design, unless the design is the wind's. I don't know enough about the West to know if seagulls go to the Great Salt Lake, west of here, but if they did, the winds pulling toward the continent's center are surely strong enough to push a few wayward sea birds with them. I think of them finding the snaking Platte and following it, low as they can fly, and wondering where the thick, salty sea air has gone. They tilt their wings for each winding turn, going very little distance for how far they fly. I wonder if they find the ocean again, or if they stand on some prairie plateau, flatten their wings for the sun until it leeches all sense of sea from their feathers. I wonder if they perch on beef cattle, lift themselves to our mountain just south, scrape up bits of bone and sand in their beaks, and commit themselves to fossils and pronghorn skulls when they can find no spilled popcorn, no teeming shoal.