No Place for Freya by Philip Andrew Lisi (A Prose Poem)

Nature is in crisis because of us, but we do not seem to care…there is no room for Freya in Norwegian waters.¹

Freya was named for the Norse goddess of love and beauty. Ironic for a walrus weighing over a thousand pounds, wearing a gash in her left flipper, sporting a pink clam-shaped tattoo imprinted on her nose, and tusks so small as to be incidental. Her heavily whiskered countenance made her a charming plus-size pinniped from the Great White North, more Dolly Dimples than Marilyn Monroe. She delighted onlookers with her antics, chasing ducks and clambering awkwardly onto pleasure boats, almost sinking them, basking in the summer sun of Oslo Fjord. We watched, lustful behind sexy optics. We fed on social media and dined on selfies while you foraged for food in Frognerkilen² because your regular invertebrate fare has been decimated as oil companies have darkened your normal feeding ground. Just like us, then, to want to possess you, make it about us, driven by a voyeurism not limited to sideshows and roadside pleasure houses. Like a murmuration of maritime paparazzi, we did what we seem to do to just about everything–infringe, snap, capture, feed, displace, occupy. Late one night in August, Freya was shot by four men who decided she was a burden to the local marina and posed a risk to children who might get too close. Freya died on her name’s day–Frjádagr, Friday. In a veterinary institute, Freya’s body was dismembered, samples of her blood taken, the rest of her dissolved in a vat of lye.

¹Euro Group for Animals, Aug 2022
²Frognerkilen–a bay in the inner Oslofjord in Norway

An MFA candidate at Arcadia University, Philip Lisi lives in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where he teaches English by day and writes poetry and flash fiction by night alongside the ghost of his cantankerous Wichienmaat cat, Sela.

2 responses to “No Place for Freya by Philip Andrew Lisi (A Prose Poem)”

  1. Love this poem!

  2. Lisi softens a solemn reality with whimsy and delight. And this line, “Like a mumuration of maritime paparazzi…” gripping!!


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