Daily Archives: March 18, 2018

Sea Mammals

Manatees (AKA “sea cows”)
are favored for their cuddly bulk. Orcas
get a viral reputation for gang
action. Big whales are everybody’s
best mystical gymnasts, dolphins
sexy slick bobbers. Seals reek up
beaches and docks but damn,
they’re cute as hell. Sea otters
rock and carry rocks, lie around
floating handsomely.  We want them
all working hard to make us feel 
connected to something larger
than ourselves, our puny little
destroyer selves, and if they don’t
we’ll flutter our left hands in dismay
as our right hands snuff them out.

Mercy On A Cold Morning

The mercy of a calm cold morning
keeps me snug in my home,
safe from chaos.

I get to pretend I can’t hear
the roaring outside over the sound
of my comfortable furnace.

There’s not even a storm
to fret over. The sun’s bright,
the wind chill is rough

but I’ve seen and felt worse.
I can deal with that. 
It’s not the wind making the noise

that I’m hiding from. The roar I fear
is human, full of words
I can’t or won’t understand

that drilled through my sleep
and opened me
as screwworms might

but without leaving a visible trace.
The mercy of the cold morning
is that it keeps me

from stepping to the sound
and joining in. I can choose
to stay here and pretend

I hear nothing, can pretend
I won’t soon need
to become harmful as well.

From where I stand mercy
is a cold illusion I can indulge
as long as I stay inside,

so here I will stay 
for as long as I can, knowing
it cannot last and I am needed out there.