"Some Familiar Grey Seal"

Adam Lawrence

Adam Lawrence’s work has appeared in Vallum, The Feathertale Review, and The Nashwaak Review. He lives in Montreal, where he works as a freelance copyeditor / proofreader and writer.

“This poem was written between the lines of Alden Nowlan’s poem ‘The Mysterious Naked Man’; nouns and verbs in the original were replaced.”

     Some familiar grey seal was seen
     near Dogwood Lane. A marine biologist is tracking
     movements with technology not approved by the Canadian government.
     No one is outside and everyone is inside watching the news,
     like every other time grey seals or other sea mammals go
     The marine biologist would like to ask questions, but no one is around.
     “He’s grey,” the marine biologist says to himself. “He’s definitely grey.”
     The white noise of boredom—it seeps out
     of the houses, though the grey seal was spotted
     once or perhaps not at all by no one and yesterday
     the ocean turned black and a song
     drifted for a short distance and adults
     became bored like when they stare at the sky
     and lawnmowers trundle into the neighbourhood
     having taken a wrong turn.
     And the grey seal
     is dancing in front of your window or juggling five TVs
     on top of your roof
     or possibly breaking down your door,
     which lets in ocean breezes
     and slaps you in the face with truth
     but he realizes the futility of
     the gesture
     so he goes into your kitchen and digs through the freezer for fish sticks
     or ice cream
     then hops into your tub like a human.