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?