The killers have taken my mother.
Am a white seal pup
Bedraggled by the surf,
On the rock-crumbed beach
Where the sea bit off a chunk of land.
Huddled in the wet cold cobbles
On a wrack of seaweed.
For the mother who doesn’t come
And doesn’t come.
Some other grey speckled mother
Bereft of her own white darling
Might hear my wailing, weakening cry
That grows less frequent by the hour
Out of the wave lace
and claim me.
But what are the odds?
Poem © 2013 The Owl Underground
Woke up with this thing rattling around in my head like a pebble in a shoe. This is what comes of watching sealcams at three in the morning. The camera was trained on a beach that had about seven or eight seals sleeping on it. Then it moved over to the smaller, rockier beach on the other side that had nothing on it but a single white seal pup. It was lying on a wrack of seaweed with its head pillowed on a stone. It was motionless for so long I was worried it was dead, but then finally it moved. After a while, the tide started coming in and it had to move further up the beach to keep from getting drenched by the surf. The camera would zoom in on it periodically, and at one point, when it was trying to figure out how to get further up the beach, you could see it was calling out. I watched the feed off and on for about half an hour. The mother hadn’t come back when I shut the ‘puter off and went to bed. When I checked it just now, the camera was off line. It’s after midnight there anyway, and they’re supposed to be having a storm.