Selkies

by Maddison Colvin

I saw your head peering at me today, over the waves.
Were you waiting for us to leave,
with our bright scarves
and our rubber feet?
Were you waiting for that little beach to empty again
so you could roll in with the tide— brown and shining
drag your bulk up the sand to some grey slab of stone
upon which you could rub your whiskers,
press your chest to one sharp edge or another
and, shufflingpeelingsquirming,
tug your young woman’s body from the bulk of yourself
so you could fold this blubber-fur-suit into a shining package
and stow it safe from suitors’ eyes in the contours of the cave just there.
You could climb up the sea-blue boulders then,
past the black cliffs, past the green hills
to the long-dead bones of high and windswept castles, where,
perching, you can stare down into fitful seas
spy dark, quick shapes a hundred feet beneath,
seals still shifting within their skins.