I lived nowhere near an ocean; I’d never seen a whale. But when I was young I believed the most impossible things. The sky was a whale wrapped around the earth and the moon its smiling eye.
Some nights I would walk home through town at dusk. Lanterns were lit in the one-room stores and men gathered around their buzzing radios. Outside, women washed shiny babies or bent double at the waist to scoop food from pot to bowl. Children ran wild at this, their wildest hour. Everyone absorbed in the activities of evening and above us floated the sky – smoky blue and smooth, solid and vast. I slipped through the darkening air, noted only by that gentle yellow eye, and was blissfully free.
Now in the city my nights are shot with car horns and sirens, chains of light and the sheen of concrete. It takes no darkness to be invisible here. Yet, I find, I still believe in impossible things. And on certain nights, if I catch the view right, the whale is still there – still serene, still amused, still gently, kindly watching over.
– Sarah J Hart
* poem and artwork first published in the artist book SKY, by Karen Anne Klein. 2013