Whales and Protocols

“What is that?”
a boy, two seats over
echoes my thoughts
“I’ve been wondering that too!”
I blurt, disregarding social protocols.

What are the protocols for people
herded onto a ferry, headed across
open water, seated in close proximity
to neighbours?

“A whale?”
his mother asks, obviously as eager
as I to catch sight of one.

“Not whale behaviour, really –
it hasn’t submerged.”

“Sometimes they roll on the surface.”

I’m not an expert on whales, but doubt it.

“It’s a boat,” the father declares
bursting our bubbles.

A curtain draws between us –
they return to their lunch
and talk of things unrelated to whales.


(Today’s challenge is to incorporate dialogue into our poetry.)