Two things that night were different
on the beach, above the bay,
urban-tired, where we walked so late
time on time, back in the day.
The small seal at the water’s edge –
how far had it swum
from what island, what sanctuary
away from this promenade?
And the white play of light in the sky,
fizzing somehow, a shimmering curtain
out over the sea.
When we came back, the seal had gone.
In its place stood a policeman
looking up to the sky.
He said, It is the Borealis
so faint but far away,
a rare sight so far south.
And though we never saw it again
and the seal had gone its way,
the many times we ranged that beach
there was never a fading day
I did not look for the roving seal
or search and question the sky,
cloudy or moonswept, for what I knew
I had seen once only on this shore
and lived on tremulously.