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A Poem by Elly Hong


There are nine species of hammerhead shark in the world. They

are consummate predators. They travel as a school; and yet, by

nine pm they are solo hunters. The genus name of this

species comes from the Greek word ‘hammer’. They are

of the vulnerable classification on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Hammerhead populations have declined by more than 90% in some regions. This shark is often reduced to bycatch. Their wide-set eyes are their downfall

in the commercial fishing operations. They face a high risk of extinction in

the wild. They live in deep water, shallow lagoons, coral reefs in the oceans of our



Hammerhead sharks are apex predators. Still, these

sharks are no match for the human instruments. Nets, harpoons

can wreak destruction easily. As these hammerhead creatures

swim, they are attacked. They are shot

sideways. Their blood mixing with the iron of the spear.


“They are my cousins!” Baba always used to say. These creatures

can’t see in front of them. Sometimes I

see the similarity between Baba and them. It’s

in the fierceness of their actions, unwavering courageousness at the

front of their mind. They are both creatures

of the sea. I imagine he’s swimming with

them, reunited with his other family.


They’re looking after him until I see him again.

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