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the day I saw a seal

April 16, 2014

along the shores of industry
geometric monoliths collect scraps
discarded things sharing
the tide with pleasure
boats- vessels that brought us here
brought us here
and send things back to trade
in far-away foggy marinas
the elasticity of water holding us all up
hulls bent by industry asail, awash of waves
the steaming towers at once familar a mystery

along the port of a sort
diving ducks working for dinner at the table
people bringing ancestry to the table
we eat, pleasing the hunger gnawing
at the scraps of industry
a seal dove today tomorrow
it is knots away not knowing the longing
as its head ducked through the spray
the shoreline tilts towards us
we trudge rotating machinery
lugging material goods, material toxic
toss scraps mangled becomes dinner
for the sea dog, sleek lithe
and living in trade for the yearly grind

along the cranes that move boxes
and the cranes roaming from continent
to continent, scrapping a yard of crushed cars
reduced to nails, to rails
rails haul ships out to the bay
sailor, sea dog, ahoy mate
take me with you and drench my feet
crash against the immutable water wall
and I go floating under-tow
coral, seaweed, and a crab claw pull at my clothes
dragging at Civilization, I cast off the last
adding scales and weighing in my choice
the earth sludges and the turf turns
gills draw in a watery shudder, bubbles
under the bay a living industry
see industry being industry

along the home of a maid
of the calm teeming depths
working for my dinner at the table
swimming in dust, I try
try to be made of seafoam
watch my dive take a bow a good night and a thank you
I’ll be miles miles away from the lighthouse
from the house boat, from the boat house
my house is full under the darting eyes
of the bald eagle and the albatross
my home is now in the trenches
laden with volcanoes spewing forth
a home-concoctioned brew of comfort

title: the day I saw a seal ; haley mcbride
photograph: haley mcbride
location: pacific northwest’s Commencement Bay

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