Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Lil Joe and Slip

Lil Joe, the manatee—the story of his life
continues to amaze— reunites with an old pal.
Lil Joe—plucked from a shallow river
in east Orange County,
marooned, starving,
dehydrated, underweight,
the knobs and creases of his skull visible,
his ribs bulging,
the loose skin of his concave belly
bunched up.
 Lil Joe—taken back to Sea World Orlando
where he had lived as an orphaned newborn—
reunited with Slip, his long time aquarium mate,
two kindred spirits.
Lil Joe, a pudgy bottle-raid orphan;

Slip, his mother dead of birth complications. 
Slip, like Lil Joe hardly knew his mother.
In twenty-ten they were set free at Blue Spring,
where the warm spring water
attracts hundreds of manatees each winter.
The two went their separate ways. 
This year, Slip, stressed by cold,
was taken back to Sea World Orlando.
Later, Lil Joe was rescued from the Little Econ.

Lil Joe and Slip are together again.

I wrote a news print poem about Lil Joe on  9/21/12 .  I am fascinated by manatees, so when I saw the story about Lil Joe in today’s paper, I had to continue the saga of this amazing sea mammal.
© 2012 Catherine Giordano

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