A poem on faith and doubt along the Carolina shore

Two spouts, Peggy says,
same time, close together,
not far beyond the beachfront window.

No, says everyone else, couldn’t be,
no whales this far north in March.
Still too cold in the Carolinas.

A humpback whale, she insists.
She saw the long black curve
surface for its quaff of air.

Dolphins, we argue.
Double spout, Peggy repeats.
Whales migrate

Canada to Caribbean
and back. Some give birth
midway, in the Carolinas,

where the water warms.
Talk trails to the Gulf Stream.
Peggy is still

with a stillness I want.
She has seen a whale.
I believe her.

I leave the group to watch
from my own long view,
scanning the gray ocean,

waiting in silence
for something
to be born.

Author Profile

Jo Ann S. Hoffman’s publications include short fiction and poetry in literary journals, including The Merton Seasonal, Persimmon Tree, Pinesong, New Verse News, Broad River Review, Red Clay Review, Kakalak, and Flying South, among others. She is a Pushcart Prize nominee and has received contest awards from the Carteret Writers, Pamlico Writers, and the Palm Beach Poetry Festival. 

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