When Whales Hold Their Breath

When Whales Hold Their Breath

when their flukes go high

then the dive is deep

and their glassy footprints,

ovals of calm sea,

green and disappear.

Boats dawdle

suspended in idle time

until a spume of white rises

and a shout seizes watchers

as the long gray shapes

heave over the waves

and the sucking of air

lets us all again breathe.

Isabel Ferguson

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