Ocean’s Lament

by Gail Tirone

A crowd formed on the beach
awed and aghast
as the gray mass surfaced
battered by wave after wave
until the surf with a grotesque belch
heaved it onto the shore

Two-ton gray beast
expired, beached
why so young, the researchers wondered
as they examined
the improbable corpse

Testing, x-rays, incisions
told the sad tale
88 pounds of plastic
in its still-young stomach
straws and sunglasses, flip flops, frisbees
milk cartons and MAGA caps

What indignities of ingestion
it must have endured
until, at last, it succumbed

No Moby Dick
no icon of freedom
and wild abandon
swimming and singing in the
deep blue beyond
for this mythical creature
the great beast cowed
bearing its painful plastic load
its own crucifix leading
to an ignominious end.
What a way to go.


Gail Tirone lives in Texas. A Best of the Net nominee, Gail has a BA from Princeton University and MA from the University of Houston. Her poetry has appeared in Silver Birch Press, Mediterranean Poetry, Blue Heron Review, Sulphur River Review, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, Free China Review, The Weight of Addition Anthology (Mutabilis Press), and elsewhere.

1 Comment

Filed under Poetry

One response to “Ocean’s Lament

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s