Poetry Series: I’ll Become a Whale; A Gentle Reminder

By Sydney Read


I’ll Become a Whale

When death comes 

          and if I’m lucky 

I’ll go back to the water. 

I’ll become a whale. 


Watch me slip, steady 

                    Out and Into

                              the great blue 

See my back, 

Sunny-slick and breached?

I found, there, between

the waves some

warmth and ease, at last

                    A little rest. 



Oh, I’ll chitter with delight 

When I find that 


is my great journey

my humble flight


So when the water gets too warm 

The sun too close 

          (as I’m sure 

          It’s wont to do)

Watch me dive— 


                    With one 






Down, down

          Under, Into 

                    the blue-dark 

Of shimmering tentacle friends

                    and little gods. 

You won’t see my fin, its gentle wave


                    I’ll say, a shy visitor

                    You are beautiful. I know that beauty doesn’t need

                    a name

                    Only, a little love.

                    Could I stay for a moment? With a little love?

A blink, 

          a swish, 

                    a crackle-blue electric wish

          For peace.


And so I’ll stay a little while 

For cold water stories. 

          From where I’ve been 

          For where I’m going. 


I’ll wave hello to Giant Squid

I’ll tell him about the sun 

          Bright and brave 

          It reaches, ever farther,

          and learns.

          A journeyman, like you 

He’ll chirp wonderfully, tentacles tickling

He has not seen the sun

And one day, when he dies 

                    if he’s lucky 

He says he’d like to become a bird 

          I’ll dive into the sky if it’ll have me,

          Mark my words I’ll—

          I’ll touch the sun. 

                    A blink, 

          a swish, 

                    a crackle-blue electric wish

          For peace.




When the dark

          is enough and sun is 

          enough and time is enough

I’ll take my tale across the great water

I’ll take the stories on my back and

          leave my love behind 

Patience guide me  

to the end of the world 

          They never found it. Pray they never will. 

A flick of my tale, 

                    a final smile 

                              A splash! 


                                        I’ll tip over,


                                                  And into 

                                        the stars. 


A Gentle Reminder


it’s not really 

about the snow. 

it’s the ice that’s 

The Problem. 


They tell me this with knowing smiles, 

a gentle hand on my arm. 

imagining perhaps 

my future 



my car helplessly stuck 

in its space. 


We must get used 

to the world and 

know that it 

is hard. 

And that


is living. 


Here is why snow 

Is dull and difficult to drive in. 

It’s not about the snow. Think:

Where are you going? 

You may not get there.


But I have never seen 

deep snow! 

New sight, new sound (soundless!) 

and what a gift to know it! 


I’m from the South.

(I’m sorry) 

We cry for the snow.

Back home, we flush 

ice down 

the toilet. 

We turn our peejays insideout 

we beg 

to watch it come 

just to see it go. 


But oh, when it stayed!

The landscape altered 

and how it altered us. 

Snow made us frantic rosy people, stumbling 

about, fumbling with our humanity like car keys. 

Snow meant my step dad pulling out dusty sleds 

and pushing us down a novel ice street and 

Building snowmen out of mostly dirt and 

taking photos and saying thanks 

for a day, before it went,

as all things do.


I have never seen snow stay. 



I sink my boots into forever-snow 

I’ve forgotten, a little 

What the ground looks like and grass looks like. 

Yes, my car got stuck and my face was red and frustrated. 

I’ve walked on ice and worn big coats and seen my hands 

Turn blue. 

It gets dark so early here (read: I sleep forever here!) 

I’ve now had the privilege 

Of being bored by snow (the world) 

I see, yes, 

That it is hard. 


But see my puppy! 

See her play, see her dash and make powder

and chomp snowballs in her mouth. 

I cannot help but sink into its deepness with her. 

What a season! What a life! 

What a crystal blue sunset 

Over a snowglobe world. 


I think I’ll still cry 

When the snow goes.