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The Humorous Verse Prize

Ruth Nicholson
West Columbia, SC

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I have gone to bed with a finback whale.
Musical moans rise and fall beside me.
Blowhole exhalations punctuate the night.
I rose for the cat five minutes ago
because the whale, surfacing to the noise
of claws raking the bedstead,
chose to ignore it. The whale dived,
knowing I would rise from my light
post-menopausal sleep and feed our pet.
The whale’s cetacean brain fails
to comprehend this female’s
need for peaceful rest.
Back in bed, I hold my breath,
hoping the whale will execute
a graceful roll and glide into a dream
that needs no sound to make it real.

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