A seal offers herself to the people, to satisfy their hunger. Thanks are sung. Her head resembles a human head—no separation. The shaman doing the opening slits the fur, pulls right and left, unfolding the body like a coat. All admire the layer of blubber, the organs perfectly arrayed. After everything is taken, four people, naked, huddle inside the skin—their second home, the ritual complete.
freezing and thawing
schools of stars
in a sea of sky
A California resident and poet for more than 40 years, Cynthia Anderson is the author of 12 books, most recently Arrival (Sheila-Na-Gig Editions, 2023). Her poems have been published widely in journals and anthologies, and she has received multiple nominations for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize. In 2020, she took up short-form poetry including haiku, senryu, cherita, haibun, and split sequences. Her recent work focuses on the natural world and her family history.
Cynthia is co-editor of the anthology A Bird Black As the Sun: California Poets on Crows & Ravens (Green Poet Press). She makes her home in the Mojave Desert near Joshua Tree National Park.
Author’s website: www.cynthiaandersonpoet.com