The prime minister of the fifth largest
global economy has asserted
the need for a big conversation
about gulls: not the greedy and the fearful
who voted for him but the species
laridae, especially the herring gull
that swarms in seaside towns and marauds
the 99 Flake out of the very hands
of the innocent, young and old alike.
Adult birds dive, swoop and grab to eat –
whether mackerel or deep fried Mars Bar.
The herring gull chick knows instinctively
to peck the red spot on its parents’ beaks
for food. It learns about battered sausage
and Cornish pasties from humans lording it.
Though herring gulls have a repertory
of voices – the mew, the yodel, the yelp,
the yuck, the cry, the snicker, the snigger,
the bark, the scoff, the cough, the scold, the plea,
the ullulation – from coastal roof tops
and are experts at inland waste management
they are endangered. Let us converse then
about concern and care.