No, not killing the whale.  Really.
I've given it much thought over the years,
surfacing and diving, surfacing and diving.
I've untied knots and found them tied again,
seen them rot from sun and salt, found them
whole again, working against my flesh,
tattooing the spiral into that schizophrenic scar.
No, not even that.  Though sometimes
when he and I have blown the water from our lungs,
when the sun's warmth is welcome, not blistering-skin
and the whale's wake makes the only waves,
then I hear the ship's sails slapping the mast,
hear the spin of block and tackle, the wheel's gyre.
Then I am back on that deck before this whiteness.
Yet this too passes into familiar drowning.

Gerard Donnelly Smith
GERARD DONNELLY SMITH is a professor of English at Clark University and holds a Ph.D. from Bowling Green State University. His work has appeared in The Mid-American Review, Apex of the M, and Swans. This is his first appearance in The Adirondack Review.
The Adirondack Review