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Whales, a Poem by Burt Rashbaum

You loved our songs. named us by our flukes, watched entranced as we danced on the waves but we knew we were still endangered. Unprotected by those who could protect us.

We are so much alike.

We suckle our young.

We breathe air.

We sing.

It’s too late. We know this.

Our calves often can’t see the sun through a new continent of plastic.

Our songs have changed but you don’t notice.

We have heard your protests to end war and violence. We breach as a cheer but know we are finally finished, so in protest we will beach ourselves and stink up your beaches, rotting hulks of sadness for you to deal with, to chop us up and cart us away, wondering why. Why, you ask, why?

This is our protest.

Our young cannot see the sun.

Our world is too polluted.

Our young cannot see the sun.

This is what we must do.

Enough. Enough.



Burt Rashbaum’s publications are Of the Carousel (The Poet’s Press, 2019), and Blue Pedals (Editura Pim, 2015, Bucharest). His poems have appeared in The Antonym, The Seventh Quarry, Storms of the Inland Sea (Shanti Arts Press, 2022), OPUS 300: The Poet’s Press Anthology 1971-2021, and Boats Against the Current. He makes his home in Colorado where he plays keys with the CBDs and spins the Carousel of Happiness.


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