That Grey Whale on the Beach


In the straw-broom light
of August twilight,
a great gray whale
slumps out of the sea.

Many stumble down
the rickety beach ladders
to gape, to gaze,
and wonder at
the weight upon its heart.

The whale’s last breath
rolls out like a tide
to the edge of its shadow,
then ends.

It’s glistening mass
sinks deep in sand,
like a heavy bell
pressed down upon its tongue.

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