The great gray whales are training their young
for the long trek north I watch their majestic rise,

the plunge, and rise again toward storms
and darkened bays where killer whales wait.

And still they dive and blow, spumes lifting.
This balcony overlooks a rocky shore

where a thousand years of surf have carved
sandstone into a gallery of curves and shapes—

a human family leaning into each other,
a mother without arms, her child submerged.

The sea so wide and my small boat of words.
What are the lines between the lines?

Relinquishment over and over, a loose raft
on which I float. Nothing to hold, not the silver

spilling from the moon, nor these slippery words,
the vowels “oh” and “ah” becoming mist.