Copyright is held by the author.
And when I first held
the sight of you, the razor
toothed edge of you, plunged
across the page of my book of fish
at seven years of age, I knew.
Even before movie fame,
I knew you were something
to be reckoned with. I searched
for you on every shore, every beach.
While some collected shells, I gathered
your eggs, sharp and leathery,
as they washed ashore,
black horns spearing the sand.
At 16, I entered your kingdom
with a blue and red bodyboard.
Still shy, I was content with shadows,
beneath the water and salt, I feared
were you. I seemed to always miss
your shape, teasing, as I scoured the waves
for your telltale signature. And I went
through the decades, dry and unbroken
while you savaged innocent surfers,
novice divers, and small children.
You were over-hunted yourself,
your body count moving to less.
But that was then, today you’ve regained
your fame as you break open
the Nauset waters. You and I mated
to the same beach where seals bob
their grey heads and you, without
mercy, render each armless, tailless.
And still, I rush to meet you
in the bloodened tide.