the whale

i thought nothing of the sobbing child

running the other way

his parents wearing masks of unrest

eyes darting to the ground when we met

 

why didn’t you tell us

 

i led you down the steep steps

carved into the rock, affording no view of the sea

each one shifting from mud to sand

gradually

as we neared the beach

 

why the hell didn’t you tell us

 

the kid at the top was screaming now

crying and howling

his dismay and panic blown to us on the summer breeze

i got down first

but not soon enough to stop you

and your shocked cry joined his

 

why on earth wouldn’t you tell us?

 

you tried to fight back tears

pretended to be curious

but as i finally caught you

half way to its huge, lifeless body

you were shaking and tears were running

i swept you up and we ran to the road

the smell following us a hundred miles home.

◄ fermi's paradox

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