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When Whales Hold Their Breath

When Whales Hold Their Breath

when their flukes go high

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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

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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