A veteran trainer at Orlando’s SeaWorld was dragged under water to her death Wednesday in the jaws of Tilikum, the oldest and largest killer whale in captivity, as horrified onlookers watched. ~ NYdailynews.com 2/25/2010
Expecting tricks, the peanut-crunching crowd
hushed as the bullet-bodied killer whale,
Tilikum, the masterful, the proud,
butted the girl, a move that, without fail,
brought hush. The bullet-bodied killer whale
caressed his trainer; his mouth caught her hair
but the girl did not move. That, without fail,
gave a sign to the watchers she was helpless there,
caressed. The trainer, caught in that mouth by her hair,
pushed the great head with a terrified, vague smile.
A sign to the watchers? She was helpless there
when the animal dove toward the enamel tile,
pushing her with his head. Terrified, vague smiles
froze the faces of all the girls and boys
when the animal dove toward the enamel tiles,
shaking her indifferently like his toys.
Frozen, the faces of all the girls and boys
expecting tricks; the peanut-crunching crowd,
shaking. Indifferently, he liked his toys,
Tilikum, the masterful, the proud.