Last Trip to the Island

Pat Phillips West
I catch the ferry to Whidbey Island,
drive north to Maylor Point.
For the moment, the wind has chosen
to hold its breath.† My pace could charitably be called†
ambling, I stop often, enjoy the marina to the right†
and Oak Harbor across the water.†

Did you see the eagle? a man asks†
walking toward me.† He points back†
the way Iíd just come, and there†
natureís rock star perches†
in the afternoon sun at the very top of a tree
a couple-dozen yards off the trail.†
I must have been looking the other way.
Tideís out and the mud flatís exposed,†
good hunting.† I watch a crow land
in a branch just below the stately bird
and give a loud raspy caw, caw.
The eagle ignores him†
and the pest flies away.

The crow reminds me of my son,
non-stop carping about how I drive†
or lose phone numbers, money, days and especially†
parked cars in large multilevel structures.
Tomorrow for my 85th birthday, Iíve decided to give up
my car keys to bully-boy.†
This is my last trip to the island
where Iíve come for decades,
and all the bird names stick to the tip of my tongue. † †



Pat Phillips West Pat Phillips West lives in Portland, OR. A Pushcart and Best of the Net nominee, her work has appeared in Haunted Waters Press, Persimmon Tree, VoiceCatcher, San Pedro River Review, Slipstream, Gold Man Review and elsewhere.


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