Frantic like I caught it undressing, 

a seagull flapped on the snowy porch, 

galumphed from exposure to exposure: 

webbed feet white with cold clung to 

frozen steps: winter’s suction amidst

twinkling, festive lights. The creature’s 

dark eyes like black scabs upon me, I 

offered it silent pity, a prayer, perhaps, 

and looked away. 


My wet boots thawed in the mudroom; 

soft, ambient Tchaikovsky played 

from somewhere. 


Should I have saved the bird from

itself? Abandon Holiday frivolity for the 

holy act of compassion. My grandfather

would have suggested the shovel or the 

pop gun he stored in the basement safe. 

“Take care of it,” he would have said,

before the cold does. But I was drunk 

on elation, a temporary paralysis of 

pragmatism, nothing mattered save for 

my sanctity, a defiance like an obelisk, 

I thought: “please let me have this day, 

please let me have this day, please let 

me have this day.”


Adam Chabot is the English Department Chair at Kents Hill School, a private, independent high school located in central Maine. His other poetry has been recently featured in Moss Puppy Magazine, The Red Lemon Review, and FEED, among others. He can be found on Twitter @adam_chabot.