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Parking My Bike in the Sand

Parking my bike in the sand, I lumbered ocean-ward,
     From where the onshore breeze carried my way
A scent of something dead, I figured sea lion or seal,
     Not uncommon. Descending the slope where the shore
Dips to meet the water, I saw instead a hole roughly
     Five feet across and three feet deep, next to it a mound
Of sand that used to be where the hole was, and next
     To that a carcass of a land mammal. It was rotted
A bit, but it looked to me like a badger. I’ve never seen
     A badger, so it’s only a guess. Not four long leaps
Away a family set up shop: kids in their trunks,
     Mamas in their beach chairs, etc. etc., oblivious to
Or unperturbed by the stink and decay awaiting
     Burial on their right. I swam. I returned and dried
Myself with my shirt and walked to my bike and
     Came across a pair of lifeguards loading their truck.
Hey, did you know there’s a dead animal down there?
     Yes. We started a hole to bury it but got called away
Before we could finish. Do you know what kind of
     Animal it is? I don’t know, said the one with glasses
And authority in his voice. It looks like a badger.
     I got on my bike and rode home and just now I
Remembered the story. And how do you like it?
Posted 11/18/09
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