Annabel ~ A poem by Hilary Robinson


We pretend she’s a girl, teach her to read.
She goes to school, has human friends
but we know one day we’ll lose her to the sea.

We learn to be patient, sit through hours
of seal displays at parks and zoos, remember
that first time she called to them. How they called back.

People notice when we’re at the pool
that she never seems to surface for a breath,
is more at home submerged.

Her toys are seals and when we sew it’s seals.
I have to stitch a fur cape for the felt one. She eyes
the fabric, imagines how it feels as skin.

Hilary Robinson

Inspired by Hilary’s youngest granddaughter, Annabel.

Hilary Robinson, from Saddleworth, has a Poetry MA from Manchester Metropolitan University. She’s been published in journals including Strix, Riggwelter, Obsessed with Pipework, Poetry Birmingham, Morning Star and the Interpreter’s House. 12 of her poems were published in a joint book, ‘Some Mothers Do,’ in 2018 (Beautiful Dragons Press).

Photo credit @digitech at

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