Magazine May 17, 2010, Issue

Considering Dolphins

Bottlenose dolphins (Crack Palinggi/Reuters)

A dolphin of a kind, I contemplate
Their constant noising by some click or whistle
Too high for human ears: that sonar missile
With which, obscure and sleek, they navigate;
And how, through humor, they affiliate,
Disarming sharks and mines, and of the gristle
Making distinctly signature each dorsal;
And the human speech they may approximate;
The totem for our counselors and sages,
Insignias for princes, who adapt
Too swiftly to aquariums in cages –
So quick to the performance, so enrapt
To play themselves for little-to-no wages,
As though uniqueness were a periapt.

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