Matthew James Friday

There Be Whales!

At the Sea Lion Caves we watch
a rookery of basking, bickering
sea lions, some rolling in muscular

waves. Further off a grey shadow
near the cliff. Probably rocks.
So many darkening hues here,
countless white waves razoring

the water. Suddenly the grey rises,
slashes open the wave, gushes
white relief and arches a crinkled
spine several times before bobbing

back down, hardly moving, waiting
for a smaller shadow to approach,
shed the same grey mantle, tear
silken blue for breath then sew

together in a gulping sink. We watch
in wonder, experts now at telling
whales and white waves apart.
We walk backwards to the Gift Shop,

Ahab reluctant to give back to the sea.
We share with couples, families, children
with excited pointing. Look! There!

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