Friday, April 26, 2013

I otter be me, I just want to swim in the sea

 Wikimedia pictures

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
as I am,
as me
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.


Kerry O'Connor said...

This is an excellent response to the prompt, Kay. I have had a great love of otters since I read Ring of Bright Water in my early teens. I've only seen them in captivity - a dreadfully painful sight.

Fireblossom said...

I am smiling ear to ear over this, despite your otter's dismay. Somehow, I feel that she will put things to rights eventually!

Who doesn't love otters? They're amazing. Thanks so much for coming up with the completely delightful effort, Kay. I enjoyed it so much.

hedgewitch said...

This is delightful, otherwordly, and has a brisk, compelling cadence that drives it along which I really like, Kay. I too thought about the otter--I think if I had a choice to really be transformed into an animal, that's what I'd pick.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
Super! This had me thinking about the selkie - the Scottish mythical creature of the seal who transforms to a youth then back again.. Very evocative. YAMxx

Leslie said...

We had a family of otters visiting our local reservoir pond last year (so so I heard - I never actually got to see them, but my family did.) I think they are the most amusing creatures (and as such a perfect subject for your poem :)

Susan said...

Had to laugh at the cooking lesson! Wonder how badly that girl wanted to be an otter!

Peggy said...

Love all the different animals people have chosen to have inhabit them for this challenge! Otters are so darn cute.

Mama Zen said...

Delightful, perfect response to the prompt! I love otters, too.

Susie Clevenger said...

Otters have such character. Who couldn't love them. Such a wonderful response to the prompt.

Maggie Grace said...

"I otter be me". Love. I lived in Monterey less than a year but loved to watch the otters. Can't imagine an otter not being allowed to swim and just be adorable but you certainly did imagine it! Lovely enjoyable writing.

Helen said...

Going out on a branch or a limb ... no one will have a title as clever as yours!!

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Cool pick, Kay, choosing an inner otter. I so enjoyed this.

Ella said...

Clever Kay! I love your choice and your dance with the view ;D

Kay said...

Your words are so creative and just so much fun, Kay! I do happen to love otters. :-)

Jinksy said...

Any excuse to get out of cooking? :)

Jennifer A. Jilks said...

A fun one. Good for you!