Of course darkness.
Of course a milky white shroud.
Of course no high
and beautiful breach.
Instead, a curved black.
A body’s foul
breath on the wind,
our sense of direction
The only sound
the slosh of waves,
the burst of air from the spout,
the muffled fog,
and the periodic pound of fists
against the kayaks’ hard plastic.
Because our guide had made it clear:
his job was not to help us
get close to the whales.
His job was to keep the whales
a safe distance.
Amanda Hawkins holds a MA in theological studies from Regent College in Vancouver, Canada. Her poetry can be found in Tin House, The Boston Review, Crab Orchard Review, and Orion. She teaches writing in Northern California and advises the undergraduate-run literary journal, Metonym.
Header photo by Pexels, courtesy Pixabay. Photo of Amanda Hawkins by Trina Woods.