Little Gull Joe
Inspired by the words of a six year old boy, terminally ill with leukaemia, who
told his father he was going to be a seagull when he died.
We walked this wild seashore last year,
I, heavy hearted and downcast
you, bubbling brightly in the sun;
six years alive, radiating fun,
leaping the white caps,
Here, I thought, nothing could touch you;
at one with the sea, boundless sky,
birds wheeling high, and no white gowns,
tedious tests or doomsday frowns;
just your laughter
and a gull’s cry.
I hugged the day fiercely to me,
etching each moment with white heat
while saline seconds dashed away
and splashed upon the rocks as spray;
you kicked the sand
with twinkling feet.
Now I see you soaring, white wings
gleaming at day’s dawning, strong and free.
My little gull, I hear your voice,
you rise, you live and I rejoice:
bird of passage,
calling to me.