whales passing

i hear the grays
are passing off pt. reyes
just now, that any day
you may
see them go by.
and why
not? the whales have gone
this way before, or bone
embedded in sandstone
means nothing. not "here lies
a whale" but "under other skies
unlike yet like today
another gray
swam by,
happened to die,
was buried and
preserved for us in sand."
the crumbling cliffs
that raise such buts and ifs
will fall away,
vanish some day,
but not, i hope, the gray.

Dennis Fritzinger

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