(Doc White/

The Whale in the Blue Washing Machine

There are depths even in a household
where a whale can live. . . .

His warm bulk swims from room
to room, floating by on the stairway,
searching the drafts, the cold
currents of water and liberation

He comes to the surface hungry,
sniffs at the table,
and sinks, his wake rocking the chairs.

His pulsebeat sounds at night
when the washer spins and the dryer
clanks on stray buttons. . . .

Alone in the kitchen darkness,
looking through steamy windows
at the streets draining away in fog;

watching and listening
for the wail of an unchained buoy,
the steep fall of his wave.

(John Haines)


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