The clump of gawkers stood around to watch
a digger lift the dead calf from the beach.
A Devon Red its beaten hide sand-caked,
twisted legs flung out, lying like it might
have dug its way up from a darker place,
to die, satisfied, in ozone and light.
The driver heel-screwed his cigarette,
climbed in the cab and turned toward the calf.
One clouded eye stared up, pointing blindly
at the canvas sky. A polished pebble,
quartz and slate embedded in a slab
of sand and hair. An eye that once looked
through a thin fence without understanding.
The digger chuntered in. We turned aside.
Calf Eye was originally published in The Clearing, a journal for new writing from Little Toller Books.