“I came upon the gnawed torso of a seal”

By Melanie Braverman Melanie Braverman
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).

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This poem originally appeared in the October 2011 issue of Poetry magazine

October 2011
 Melanie  Braverman

Biography

Melanie Braverman’s most recent book is Red (Perugia Press, 2002), winner of the Publishing Triangle Audre Lorde Poetry Award. The poems appearing here are from a book-length manuscript called “The World With Us in It.” She is a poet-in-residence at Brandeis University.

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Death, Nature, Animals

Poetic Terms Prose Poem

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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