"Whale Watching" - Dayna Patterson

The morning’s fog is thick as frosted glass.
Every wave’s shadow and sea-drifting log
breathes innuendo. Strain eyes to their limits, ears
perched alert for the spurt of water to signal

their surfacing. A pod of females follow her
through the Salish Sea, hunting for seals and salmon.
Walk the half-mile trail south to north, north
to south, south to north. Commandeer a picnic bench

and wait, unpack sandwiches, stare at water,
and don’t dare let your eyes wander.
Hike up to the lighthouse and wait.
Hike down to the old kiln and wait.

Seals. Moss. Purple starfish big as backpacks.
Pull out binoculars. Cameras. And wait.
Watch for her girl’s club, imagine her sleek
dorsal fin higher than our heads, her black back

like a moving hill, weaving in and out of water,
sewing big stitches in the dark blue bay.
She’s circling round these islands
where we live our little lives.

Her massive grace. Her godsome body.


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