FORAGING by JoAnn Hoffman
That pelican, you say,
watch him. I do
watch him, his easy-going glide across
gray water, scanning, scanning
for the glint of silver, the hint of movement below,
signal to his razor-sharp eyes that Now!
now is the time to dive & this,
this is the place to find
riches in the sea.
At lunchtime, you say,
There’s that woodpecker again,
hear him? I do
hear him, the fury of his jabs against
thick pine bark, drilling, chucking
a brown hail of wood chips to the ground below.
He hears clever fellow! the plump white larvae
squirming in the bole,
and he is driven, driven
to pierce the heart of the tree.
We are like them, I tell you later
in the grocery store. Like that lady, there –
picking the pinker fish beneath
the layers, reaching for the boxes behind,
sniffing, thumping, hefting the melons. You see?
We are all scavengers, like chickens scrabbling
the dirt. All of us, hungry! Always
scanning, digging, diving – starving
for the riches we find
below the surface.