Whales

poetry by Bethany Rivers

Whales

Standing in the queue at the bank, she was.  Waiting quietly. Waiting patiently. Her last pay cheque in her sweating hand.  The silent TV reeled with BREAKING NEWS.

 

a whale beached

tiny humans

staring 

 

The gigantic blackness of his barnacled flanks.  The dying of him in a burnished sun. The plastic bags carefully coating his lungs.  

 

a lost ship

anchored

on dry land

 

There are four people in front of her.  The walls are getting closer. She feels waves of nausea against the lining of her stomach.

 

schools of tiny fish

flee

from open jaws

 

She remembers it didn’t used to be like this.  It didn’t used to be like this. This was never meant to be her last cheque.  This was not meant to be the last month before the bank closed.

 

one deep breath

held

for many hours

 

She remembers sandcastles, a small red bucket, a plastic spade.  She remembers her father helping her dig. Her mother unpacking the picnic.  She remembers the sky was a deeper blue across the sea, above the dunes.

 

waves remember

the shape of him

the weight of him

Bethany_Rivers portrait.jpg

Bethany Rivers

Bethany Rivers was Runner Up in the Overton Poetry Prize and shortlisted in the Snowdrop Poetry Competition two years in a row (2018/9).  She has two poetry collections out: ‘Off the wall’ published by Indigo Dreams and ‘the sea refuses no river’ published by Fly on the Wall Press. Victorina Press has published her book on the creative writing process, ‘Fountain of Creativity: ways to nourish your writing’.  She has taught creative writing for over 13 years and continues to mentor writers. www.writingyourvoice.org.uk