- Samantha Hoch
Salt of the Ecosystem
Updated: Nov 7, 2019
I remember when that baby whale died
and the mother mourned it for weeks.
I had a bird’s eye view.
Whales are some of the few species in nature
to maintain the matriarch’s status
beyond her child-bearing years.
Can you imagine
what it was like to mourn the death of an infant
while under media scrutiny?
You may remember the broadcast saying
They’re going to administer antibiotics.
I was there. It never happened.
The gravity of her presence overcame me
as the blue-black veil of her shadow
eclipsed the entire floor beneath me.
When she pushed that baby’s corpse
to the surface for air, I watched, flat footed
and wide eyed, on a tiny island far from shore.
Maybe you’ll recall the way the camera angle showcased
the breadth of the ocean
and its loss.
It wasn’t majestic. I mourned the
tragedy of that scene
and tasted the salt of her tears.