On the ship, we watched whales sound,

the rise and fall, the spray plunging into foam

Into something new. We have not spoken,

But we are watching the same scene.

I stood behind you as you spoke to the crew,

As you gave instructions, the muscles of your back

Rising as you took in air, shoulder blades creasing

The material I wanted to touch. You knew I was behind

You then. You stood like a storyteller,

Lingering over the plot instructions

Past necessity, just turning your head

Slightly to the side, not seeing me but knowing

I was there watching, wondering. Could we

live as the whales, sure of the direction

of home, crossing each other, finding those

that bind us to our place in what we pass

And those who thrust us forward to become.

–Shaun Perkins

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