by Rebecca Hart Olander
Mine died when I hit middle age, he still young
at sixty-eight. I’ll never say we’re through.
He is that creature under the cold Atlantic blanket,
migratory mammal, singing a complex song,
large heart beating in time with mine, wide cetacean
smile, throat pleats, fluke, and fin. All that potential
lamplight and winter warmth stored in his immortal bulk.
No harvested baleen, no corset bone. He’ll never stop
his route, though sometimes he needs to breach,
and once I dreamed he beached. I tried to drag him back
to the surf, where the salt could lick his wounds
and he could open one eye to the sun.
But that was a nightmare. The truth is in the Gulf
Stream, dark shadow spouting, swimming with seals.