A Whale’s Voice
2019 Right Whales, High School, Poetry
When a whale cries, we mistake it for singing –
we refuse to acknowledge another’s suffering.
People only give a glance, a second
of their time, but spend hours looking in a mirror.
Empathize more, and then maybe Earth
will stop flooding, stop shaking, stop falling
apart. The ocean is not a scapegoat
for our ignorance.
They plead to live boldly, unapologetically, peacefully;
to have a fair chance for their calves to grow;
to swim – dance – in clean waters;
to twirl through the sky and see the sun;
to sing a song of relief.
No creature is less than a person.
That whale we see is a child,
a mother, a father, trying to survive calamity.
They travel across continents to feed their young
while we know some people forget
their children. We are not entitled
to this land billions of creatures call home.
I wrote a poem because I wanted to personify the whale. Although we can't understand how the North Atlantic Right Whale feels, I felt it was important to emphasize human neglect on our planet. I was inspired by this idea that humans are above everything in nature which is completely wrong. Every living being on Earth serves a purpose and it isn't our right to decide their value. I've learned through this exploration that at the end of the day, though both species look and act different, that each want to survive, to work hard for their family and to love their child unconditionally. I will continue to be cautious and mindful of my use of plastic.