Underwater Reversal

February 2016—a baby dolphin dies after being passed around for selfies.*


A pod of dolphins hold
up the infant with will
and wonder.

Her face, a soft stone, against
grey bodies.
They dance, rock the baby.

Clicks and whistles comfort
while she floats
from one dolphin to the next.

Delicate skin prunes,
wispy hair waves.

This creature,
signs to the others,
who are bold, hold her—

the baby doesn’t fight,
but quickly breathes
their salty nectar.

The pod panics:
how to give the child
back to sand, to light?


* https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2016/02/18/endangered-baby-dolphin-dies-after-swimmers-pass-it-around-for-selfies/


Sarah Lilius


Sarah Lilius is the author of The Heart Factory (Black Cat Moon Press, 2016) and What Becomes Within (ELJ Publication, 2014). Some of her poems can be found at Tinderbox, The Fem, Flapperhouse, and Drunk Monkeys. She lives in Arlington, VA with her husband and two sons. Her website is sarahlilius.com.