The tentacles of the man-o-war
across the bay,
hard to see at first glance.
The iridescent bubble where the tentacles originated
couldn’t be seen—
was perhaps at the far side of the bay, by the rocks,
where children were splashing,
unaware of the danger.
The polar bear growled, reminding me
that I had to feed him,
that no time could be lost.
I threw the cold herring at his eager jaws,
making my voice firm,
There are more creatures in those waters, myriad predators and prey.
From where we stood,
the bear and I,
atop a brown cliff overlooking the bay,
I prayed for great turtles to come, to dismantle the man-o-war,
biting into its pillowed center,
snapping through the tendrils,
immune to the venomous sting.
All of this was beautiful.
All of this was terrifying.