In The Camargue 

by Barbara Crooker

there are flamingoes everywhere—les roses flamants, literally, pink flames—
wading in the shallows, dabbling in the reeds. Their supercilious beaks, Roman noses,
give them an air of haughty disdain as they stalk the marshes, straining small mollusks
through their soupspoon bills, which are half pink, half black, the colors
of a sixties Cadillac. Their loopy necks curve in question marks,
their skinny stilty legs, hot pink exclamations under the wide black vee
of their opened wings. You’d think Rube Goldberg designed these birds—
their improbable gawky take-off, running on water, jerky as puppets—
this will never fly-but then, they do, these pink blossoms,
these sunsets on the wing, these rose flames in the sky.


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