Late for dinner


What is this place where they tell you

they’ll hold dinner for you

because there are right whales off the lighthouse

and you have a little time.  Maybe you’ll see them.

What is this place where the broad flat sea stetches away from the

lace-rimmed rocks out to the horizon where the paler sky


The swallow tail light is as white as a virtuous woman.

The air rivals the wine left half-drunk in the glass.

The sea birds are clustered together in tremulous knowledge

of the two right whales.

They are there and sometimes I can see their plumes

white against the blue sea far off out from shore,

I wait patiently in the early evening, the breeze waiting too, gentle

on my light clad arms.

I would be glad, no, transported with joy to see them

but I know they have their own business to attend to.

Even in this place I cannot wait until dark, I cannot

keep the others waiting.  The others are of my kind

and the right whales have their own business to attend to.

Even though I could only feel them there off shore and know

as sure as sure

that they were there  attending to their right business,

well, this was enough and more than enough to transport me

to the watery depths, to the cold boundless places where the right whales

with no regard for me attend to their right business.

What kind of place is this where no bird or seal or tree or breeze or wave,

pays attention to my tender waiting?

It is the right place.

2 thoughts on “Late for dinner

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