Floating in slowness, drifting in stillness,
Foraging hours for seagrass and algae,
Heavy as giants your litheness ignored,
As mechanical monsters near you are mindlessly scored.
Eyes lost in a gray expanse,
Your prehensile lip brushes; your fluke steers ahead;
And still your dolphin-like intelligence is misunderstood,
By enemies, humans, with their heads in the woods.
Along with your peers dwelling in the canals,
Sleeping silently underwater you awaken to breathe,
As your nose pushes upwards to replenish your air,
You suddenly plunge downwards, mystified and scared.
After two years seacow mother you birth your calf,
And you search the mangrove shallows for warmth at last;
Oh gentle behemoth you cling to existence,
Only to be harmed without resistance!
Dedicated to the manatees: endangered and forgotten.