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