Wood sways and mutters; palsied shutters bang.
The call has come. Stripped of starlight, night
dwindles to gritty lavender and gray;
mad jags of wind keep drowning out the surf.
We dress, then slog through beach plums to the bay.
Three days before, we calmed ten bottlenoses,
then led an exodus into the channel
to confront the bellowing Atlantic.
We roared, and told Eyewitness News that “tides
or virus-damaged ears” had made them frantic.
Now we return; salvation did not last.
Just yards from shore, they do not move at all
except to veer away as we draw near,
their faith in our benevolence betrayed
and their desire for surrender clear.