Dolphin Ballet

By Robert Charles Howard

What earthly grace can match
The artful water weaving dolphin
Leaving behind a wake of gentle waves -
Her white, black, silver blue body
Shimmering in the afternoon sun?

Raising herself on her tailfins,
She playfully skitters the surface,
Corkscrews through the water
And arches a flawless somersault.

Diving nose first into the froth,
She drives to the darkest depths
And churns her powerful engine upward
Bursting into air to pierce the flaming hoop
To the oohs and applause of a large pod
Of short-sleeved hominids
Bleachered beyond the rails.

After downing a well earned herring
From the trainer's outstretched hand,
She obligingly chatters into a mike.

Burrowing into quiet depths,
The dolphin lingers for a moment
Perhaps to dream of the fresh sea air
And the borderless waters
In the golden days before the ships came.


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