Ascension
By Kathleen Ernst

In the evening’s cool blue calm
a force erupts from the deep –
blunt black nose, white chin,
one eye looking my way.
An Orca, striving for heaven
with water sheeting from her sides.

Ten thousand pounds of blubber and faith
rise like a promise, or prayer –
gleaming back, long dorsal fin
curved like the faint sickle moon.
The Orca climbs from the sea and hangs
suspended against the sapphire sky.

As time disappears the behemoth rolls
on a breeze, as if she is weightless –
droplets, like crystal prayer beads,
scatter in every direction.
The Orca then slowly begins her descent
and slides back into the deep.

Scientists say that they don’t really know
why thirty-foot mammoths exult from the sea –
of course it is this: they breach for the glory
of life pulsing through their saltwater veins.
When next I sink in my own cold sea
I’ll think on Orca, rising up
in a twilight halo of hope.


© 2012 Kathleen Ernst, LLC.