[39] Wisdom, Andrew Alexander Mobbs

“The world’s oldest known wild bird, a Laysan albatross named Wisdom, has hatched yet another chick at the Midway Atoll in the Hawaiian archipelago. Biologists first identified and banded Wisdom in 1956; she is at least 70 years old.”

– Bill Chappell, (from NPR article, “Wisdom The Albatross, Now 70, Hatches Yet Another Chick”)

When that first biologist banded your leg,
Hawaii was still within Liliuokalani’s echo,

the Korean War was barely finished. Here
we are, some several decades and another

pandemic later, and you are a mother for
the thirty-sixth time. What do you know

that we do not? Time has taught you well
how to phish out the predators and plastic,

how to maintain your nest on Midway all
these years. But is there any wisdom you

can impart on us hapless humans, we who
fling the same plastic that has buried your

albatrosses at sea and then follow the latest
eco-friendly Instagram trends? Your wings

have spanned millions of miles across the
cerulean skies, rain-glazed and sundried,

sailing over our disasters; this is your ritual.
From below, the saltwater passes our knees,

the ghost forests stand sentinel like modern
gargoyles. All we can do is look up to you.

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