I heave myself up. You have no idea
how much muscle it takes to raise this mass
onto the rocks. No clever monkey hands,
not me. I come from the deep water, the cold places,
and when I snatch it's with my teeth,
and for keeps.
Still I love to sun myself:
it's worth lurching up onto the warm basalt.
I time my lift with the surge of a wave,
wriggle up - with some loss of dignity -
while the water drains away
and my full weight makes itself known:
Twenty five hundred pounds of pinniped
can spare some pride on a spa day.