Without warning, a large whale

broke the quiet ocean

in an arc near the shoreline

that skimmed so low,

so close to the beach,

people waiting for the sunset

released an involuntary “Oh…”

in fear and wonder

at what felt to me an omen,

a message from the deep,

that silenced them for an instant

before it slid back into the waves


As quickly, the conch shells sounded,

cheers and whistles for the horizon

of orange, red and gold from

the onlookers, excited talk,

nervous laughter at what

they had just seen


Some still in swimsuits laid

back on their towels,

others dressed for dinner

stood in small groups

flourishing cocktails

with a new story to tell


The whale gone,

darkness creeping in

I thought “no,” not yet,

not for a long while yet