Today’s poem was inspired by Janet Wong’s prompt for Renée LaTulippe’s Community Collection earlier this week. Janet shared “Joyce’s Beauty Salon,” a poem from her book A Suitcase of Seaweed and other Poems. Inspired by Janet’s mother’s beauty salon, the poem recalls women leaving the salon “carrying a lighter load” because of Joyce’s magic. Janet asked poets to consider this: “Is there something you can do—or someone you can count on—to help you “carry your load”?
As I was thinking about Janet’s question, I turned the page on my desk calendar and saw this photo:
These two birds are surely helping one another carry their load! A little research revealed that the short-tailed albatross was hunted nearly to extinction at the turn of the 20th century for its delicate white and yellow feathers. Today, it breeds on only two Japanese islands, one of which is threatened by volcanic eruptions. Scientists are working to establish additional colonies on other islands in an effort to save these beautiful birds.
The look of content on the smaller bird’s face inspired this poem:
No gilded palace
or cushioned throne
could lure me
from our island home.
Murmuring in the moonrise
beak to pearly beak,
By your side forever,
cheek to feathered cheek.
© Catherine Flynn, 2018
Please be sure to visit Amy Ludwig VanDerwater at The Poem Farm for the Poetry Friday Roundup.