I came upon the gnawed torso of a seal, silver fur agleam against the sand like a coin thrown down in a losing bet. What left this bounty of meat on the beach to rot? I watched the neighbor’s small boys skirt the dead seal the way sandpipers tease themselves in the surf, dodging up and back along the body’s shore. “It’s dead,” I told their father as he ambled behind them up the beach. He called to the little boys, his voice borne toward them on the mild breeze. “Boys, come back,” he said, and they did not.
Source: Poetry (October 2011).