It was a Saturday afternoon, and I was sitting in a Holiday Inn on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico in the Tampa-St. Petersburg, Florida, area. I was intrigued by watching the sea gulls. I soon remembered that on ships at sea I had seen them. Suddenly I wondered how long they stayed aflight and where they went at the end of the day. I went out on the balcony of the room and talked to them awhile, as follows:
Oh, soaring sea gull, where do you live?
Where do you rest at night?
Do you finally go to a bird bungalow?
Where do you finally light?
Oh, graceful creature, where is your home?
Where do you keep your nest?
Do you quietly flee to a cottage at sea?
Where do you go to rest?
Oh, flying dancer, where do you sleep?
And do you live alone?
Do you tip-claw away at the end of the day?
Where do you meet your own?
Oh, airborne swimmer, where do you fly
After your toil above?
Do you have a nice ark that you seek when it’s dark?
Where do you live and love?
Oh, gliding nomad, where do you eat?
Where are your children fed?
Do you quicken your pace to an island someplace?
And where do you go to bed?
Oh, ballet flyer, where do you go
As doves fly to their own?
Do you lonelily dwell in a watery motel
Where you must live alone?
Oh, Air Force sailor, I think I know;
Your home is up in the sky,
For you need never land or abide in the sand;
You’re only at home when you fly.
Oh, fellow flyer, I understand;
I often pass you in flight,
For while birds are at nest, and men at home
I’ll wave at you in the night.