The gulls cry to be fed and the woman raises the sound on the TV. Hungry for love, the gulls screech and the woman preens her hair. Desperate, they beg. The woman slings slices of white bread They land just within reach She straightens their feathers, takes them to a place where a man coils words around their beaks, their eyes and shoots framing their formal guise The woman places the portrait on the living room wall. The gulls see. This must be love, they say. The woman Switches on the TV to drown out their squall. The gulls grow. raise families of their own. Their polite poses crowd the woman's wall. Not a hair out of place, Many mouths saying “Cheese” many obedient eyes gazing into a stranger's face. He clicks, and it's done. He clicks. He clicks, and the children - for they are children - stretch their muscles, appreciating release. The proud matriarch of three generations turns from the TV and and reaches to make space in her spick and span home for another trophy.
©Jane Paterson Basil