• Vol. 04
  • Chapter 08


At two, you fell in love.
By three, before you could string
a complete sentence together,
you knew several species;
their ferocity, geography, anatomy
(1st & 2nd dorsal, pectoral, and caudal fin).

Great Whites, most dangerous
but it was man’s fault, you said,
for dressing up as seals.
Followed by Tiger, Mako, Thresher,
Hammerhead. Learnt your colours:
blue, blacktip, whitetip, gray, lemon.

Liked the ugly ones best:
Goblin, Wobbegongs.
Cried, when you found out
Honeycomb and Angels
were endangered, decided
to be a Marine Biologist.

At eight, you explored
The Blue Planet. Posed under
a magnificent megalodon jaw
twice your height, its teeth
larger than your fierce hands.
Watched divers with envy.



At nine, you travelled
to the west coast of Ireland
became a junior MB.
Rummaged rock pools
and scoured Salthill strand.
Returned to the lab triumphant

with a Sea Hare and Mermaid’s
purse in a little beaker.
Asked the aquarium
to safeguard the sea hare,
put the mermaid in maternity,
said goodbye to happy-faced rays.

Now, at sixteen, your shelves still-life
lined with, ammonites, shells, stones
and sharks’ teeth in glass bell-jars;
your aspirations metamorphosing
to post-mortem Pathology,
conversing with the dead instead.