Louise Norman

Tullahoma, Tennessee

The Belugas Of Chicago

Born into freedom,
at liberty to roam,
explore all things.
Young, no skill to elude hunters.
Pod terrorized, futile attempts to protect younglings.
Noises, ropes, cries of cetaceans,
two-legged creatures leaping into water,
binding two young females, children of others.
Placed in a sling, heavy, heavy
out of liquid element, entreaties
mouths opening, closing, gasping,
conveyed by a clanging, fetid vehicle
to a place of unknown water,
pumped in from a polluted lake,
an "oceanarium" far from oceanic waters.
Now, two-legged creatures feed, touch,
teach them tricks to amuse schoolchildren,
rewarding with dead fish.
They swim, dive, in a concrete pond,
flailing flukes helplessly,
singing sad songs no one hears.
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