Kathryn Smith Stranding

Human mothers have been known

to throw their children to the ocean.


Before dawn, dawn

seems impossible, the sky


a formless void. From a bridge, a cry

hits the water, disappears, one of many stars


blinking out. The moon forgets

to direct us. Dozens of hulking bodies


at rest. It happens every summer,

but no one knows why. The whales


are so like us in their langauge and how

they feed their young. Birthed


alive. The islanders rush

to usher them back to sea.


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