The Gull

Where are the ashes that you stole
Their sanctity not yet complete.
The priest had just begun
The holy words, the ancient rite to mark his duty done.
Do olden ways reside in you that we no longer know?
Are you a scavenger of souls come to gather
The brightest and the best?
We watched 'til we no longer saw your graceful form
Tracking the river's lazy roll.
Careless you flew, your wings outstretched
So like a priestly form at Eucharist.
At length we turned once more to earthly duties.
There was no need to stay.
The object of our prayers was gone.
Your deft wings had taken ashes, grief and prayers
And we were freed.

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