After my dog was killed by a car
my parents gave me a baby sperm whale.
In a small wooden boat,
father on one oar, mother on the other,
we rowed past the swells.
The only sound was the oars’ monotonous
work followed by the sigh
of the ocean pushed behind.
When it passed beneath
mother shouted “there, there”
and pointed at the large dark shape.
Father took photos with an old Instamatic.
On the way back to shore,
the only thing spoken
was by mother who asked
if I named it and I had.
“The Soup of Something Missing,” Bear Star Press Cohasset, CA, 2004