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C.J. Sage

(California)

Sea Canaries


The small white whales in packs of pods

keep their pacts with us, the fated beasts.

They wail their songs and the water wavers,

and we who signed them waive our rights

to have them. Here is where they belong,

all right, and here is where I leave them:

their pale, bountiful bodies to the sea.

I see a pail of fish and I would rather

feed on palm wood than palm one up

to shed it to those seabirds. To bate the brink

of bygone beauty, I bring no bait. A thatch shed

on the shore would keep me closer. O idol

of the gulls and wingèd seagirls and idle guitar

players, paddle deep and far off from my kind

who peddle our wares like love-me-kindly petals.

Submitted: Friday, March 09, 2012

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