Strange pale penguin: rare yellow and white bird
discovered among king penguins in Atlantic
from The Guardian, 25 February 2021
Instead of black wellies or waders
he is dressed in ballet pumps
and a dazzling cravat, overdressed
for the occasion of the Antarctic.
A fragile daisy who needs the cold
to bloom, his round belly is spilled
with a surprise of yolk, then custard,
smoothing to primrose, then snow—
The others are dressed in leather,
have inherited thick skin, deep tread,
yet his sides are slippery with oyster-
light, a gorgeous hiccup
in the genetic loop.
I can only watch while the glacier inside
my daughter calves into something even
more extraordinary, bright—I want
to tell her that one distant day somebody
will discover the exotic creature she is,
no need to hide underneath a black hoodie;
how she’ll glow then, in her thin-skinned
exactly how she was hatched.