The Pilot Whale
I was on a beach that scraped
the side of a wilderness.
I grabbed her tail and yanked
but it swung up
like a play yard swing,
an uppercut that sent me sprawling.
She lay on her side
the whole time I threw pails
of water onto her.
Her jaw jostled. I've seen a dying stork,
its bill open the same way.
But her eye held me, as if pleading,
like a diver who's been trapped
by timbers just below the surface.
Finally her eye
went as empty as an abandoned pail,
and still I kept pouring.
One day it could be me dying
under a stranger's
(note: This poem previously appeared in Underground Window)