Summer Speaking in Turn by Vivian Eyre

Summer Speaking in Turn

On the beach, a whale looks up at me
in blue crayon, drawn on a heart-shaped stone.
My finger traces the thick-lined body,
just as I did in my whale book at ten,
certain about their signs of happiness —
when flukes were held high,
just like the flukes on the stone I hold now.
It’s July. High season for out-of-towners
when I face the bay only in early morning.
Why are you here? I ask the heart stone.
I don’t know. Maybe the stone is a valentine
to be delivered by tidal whims to a whale
with a heart the size of a Harley. I pocket
the stone heart, the smile, the whale’s face.


You’ve Got This—written with a red paint-pen
on a rock, then deliberately planted
on Race Point beach by the artist.
Later that week, a woman finds the rock,
and in this loose communion, her smile
dolphins up. No longer was she a small raft,
a speck floating. She leaves
the rock in its sand bed hoping
children would discover it. Imagine
this kind of day when you don’t expect to
find a friend. Yet you find one, featureless,
as alive as July. The beach is pulsing.


Vivian Eyre is a Rhode Island-based poet, and the author of the poetry chapbook, To the Sound (Finishing Line Press 2013). Her poems have been in The Massachusetts Review,J Journal, The Fourth River, Quiddity, Spire, Pangyrus, Book of Matches, Bellingham Review, Asheville Poetry Review, Twelve Mile Journal, The Sandy River Review. She served as the guest curator for the Whale House (Southold, NY), and as a rescue volunteer for cold stun sea turtles on the eastern shores of Long Island.

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