Antarctic Rookery

Whitecaps roll and churn, soaking the sand
where walruses lie dog-piled and wriggling.
The peeling bark of their hide is crusted and
cracked, as warped as a Renaissance canvas.
They lumber thickly along the shore, serene
in the face of the wind. The anemone whiskers

of their scrub-brush snouts are barnacle-white,
bleached by the chill. Sand-scrubbed, the milling
sunbathers are now the pink of pencil erasers,
bald and rosy as naked mole rats. Rockhoppers
leap like kangaroos around their sleeping forms.
Tumorous elephant seals smash into one another
with the blubbery body-slams of sumo wrestlers.

Seals bob and float like swollen corks, their heads
backlit and enigmatic in the haze of a sudden storm.
Yellowcoats scratch absentmindedly at fledgling fur
the color of buttermilk: windblown dandelion-down.
Baaing pups croak and crow, nosing speckled flesh
and guzzling greedily, their eyes closed in delight.

Jessica Goody writes for  Sunsations Magazine and The Bluffton Sun. Her work has also appeared in Broad!SpectrumBarking SycamoresHeARTGravelPrimalZineKaleidoscope, and Wordgathering. She was awarded second place in the 2015 Reader’s Digest Poetry Competition. She has written two volumes of poetry and is seeking their publication.