Consider the Female Walrus // Karen George

She lives in shallow waters
over continental shelves
of arctic oceans,
prefers mussels, clams, cockles,
but will eat tube worms and sea cucumbers.

Voluminous pinniped
who hauls her thousand pounds
on four flippers across rocks
and sharp pack ice.
Her hide is thick, tough.

She nurses a newborn,
and despite long tusks
and lack of arms,
angles her calf close
with upper flippers.

Away from the herd,
underwater, they bob vertical,
chest to chest,
rub whiskers, vibrissae,
release deep barks.

Karen George has received grants from Kentucky Foundation for Women and Kentucky Arts Council. She holds an MFA in Writing from Spalding University, reviews poetry at Poetry Matters, and is fiction editor of the online journal Waypoints. Her website is