Children's Pool


We came expecting to see little children,

kids in sunhats, scooping wet sand into buckets,

burying their bodies underneath the sea earth.

Instead, we found fat seals, whole families

of the round, white creatures laying there

on the beach as if it were theirs.

A crowd had gathered around us to watch them:

the moms and dads and pups, all spotty and slick,

not dead, but still. From above the beach, they looked

like gray rocks with whispery white hairs.

I stood with my yellow bucket in my right hand,

pink ruffles on my suit. I watched my mom

watch them, the thirty or so seals she wasn’t

expecting. I’d like to come back as one of those,

she said, and pointed to the one at the center,

sand stuck to his belly, nose hairs twitching in hot breeze.








Photo by Tracy on Flickr


About Author


Emily Lake Hansen is the author of Home and Other Duty Stations (Kelsay Books, forthcoming 2020) and the chapbook "The Way the Body Had to Travel" (dancing girl press, 2014). Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Rust + Moth, Nightjar Review, SWWIM Every Day, Stirring: A Literary Collection, and BARNHOUSE among others. A 2018 Best of the Net nominee, she serves as the Poetry Editor for Minerva Rising Press and spends most of her time playing children's board games in Atlanta.

1 Comment

  1. Naomi Ruth Hansen on

    It made me wonder if her mom would one day become a seal.
    It also seems like a happy memory of wonderful day as a child feeling loved.

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