Tuesday, March 8, 2016

ambassadors from the sea


at the first place to pull off near the ocean,
we park and walk over to where grass drops off into beach,
I see a shape near the water that looks like it could be a seal,
so I make my way to it over the rocky shore:
no movement, I figure it’s a dead seal,
when I come with a couple of yards of it,

it wakes up, startles,
and we scare each other,
I snap pictures like mad and savor how close
our worlds came to each other,

next stop, above rough rocks where we hope to see seals,
suddenly, right next to us, a seal fitfully sleeps,
within 3 feet of where I start to walk:
“Never come between a seal and the sea,” we heard,
so we retreat quickly,
as we take the time and angle to notice,
we see seal after seal, most sleeping away mid-day,
if they notice us, their big liquid brown eyes watch us
over the bristly mustaches they sport,

when they tire of us and head to the sea,
each throws itself up and forward,
caches on its slippers,
and repeats the process,
until, fully in thew water, each is fully in its element,
creates who move there with grace and beauty,
and predator power,

like fish out of water, they don’t quite fit on land,
yet they visit the edge of our world long and sure enough
that each can be an ambassador to speak for the rich world
just beneath the waves, 

by Henry H. Walker
March 1 ’16

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