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Wednesday, August 08, 2018


by Linda Stryker

The orca named J35, or Tahlequah, carrying her dead calf on the seventh day. Credit: Ken Balcomb/Center for Whale Research via The New York Times: “The Orca, Her Dead Calf and Us” by Susan Carey, August 4, 2018.

Our babies are dying, she said
without words. Look!

as she held up her newborn
and newly dead on her nose.

Days go by, and she still
clings to the tiny she-orca.

Do something! she says
without words. Look!

Our clan will die of hunger,
where are the salmon we

feed on? grandmother
orca says without words.

Our babies die of hunger,
as do we. You, humans,

can solve this. You must,
she says without words.

Her loud voice carries over
the waves and into hearts

who want her to live, but
who know she cannot.

Linda Stryker writes from Phoenix, Arizona, and is a volunteer radio reader for Sun Sounds. Her chapbook Starcrossed was recently published by dancing girl press. Her creative writing has been published in Highlights for Children, New Millennium Writings, Ekphrastic Review, Third Wednesday, and Chiron Review, among several other venues.