In the waters of Monterey Bay
I swim and I float and I play
at least for most of the day,
until John S. and the doc
come out of the lab and then lock
the door and go out for a beer.
At this point I’m filled with fear:
I’m supposed to be on the land
walking full uprightly and,
taking the clams I have found,
I’m supposed to go 'round
to a house on the next street
and there, for “a nice treat”
I’m to feed them all to a man.
When I look in that thing called a mirror
I almost scream from the terror
that body’s not me
I live in the sea—
old lady, please, I’m an otter,
no, I am NOT your young daughter
I don’t want to learn cooking
lady, please, just try looking
at me as I really am
Kay Davies, April 26, 2013
Today, for Fireblossom Friday at the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, Fireblossom has asked us to write from the point of view of an animal trapped in a human body. Not "I want to be an otter" but "I am an otter, and when I look in a mirror, I see a young woman."
I have tried to do precisely that for Day 26 of our April poem-a-month
prompt challenge exercise struggle.
The first time I saw live sea otters was in early 1989, when I travelled with two friends down the west coast (yes, Highway 1, on the coast, not on boring old high-speed I-5) and we stopped in Monterey for a bit of a Steinbeck pilgrimage. I was entranced by the delightful creatures with their too-cute faces, romping in the ocean waves.
I love the animal pictures FB used with her challenge, and couldn't resist snagging one to help differentiate my final lines, even though I'm pretty sure it's a river otter, not a sea otter.