We think we saw it—you were in the waves,
your torso pressed to the board, letting go
as they formed, their underbellies unrolling
from the glint of post-dusk sky to frosted glass,
bits of froth casting fish phantoms over the ocean floor.
After a brief dip, I never left the towel,
the tan pages of a library book sticking
to my fingers.
You yelled out from the water, pointing—
like any other gull, ordinary, its calls
swallowed by the distance, remarkable
only for its size. We second-guessed;
the binoculars still under the passenger seat
of your car, no nomenclature
ready for our lips. We tried later
in the bookstore, heads bent
over the species guide
unfolded like a take-out menu
in our hands—the bird at once
singular and improbable
because of how clearly it appeared to us.
Annick MacAskill is the author of No Meeting Without Body (Gaspereau Press, 2018). Her poems have appeared in publications including the Literary Review of Canada, Grain, Prism, Versal, Room, and The Fiddlehead. Other writing has been longlisted for the CBC Canada Writes Poetry Prize, longlisted for The Fiddlehead's Ralph Gustafson Poetry Prize, and nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Originally from Ontario, she currently lives and write in Halifax.
the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan