Title: Evolution

Author: Ashleigh Young

In: Sport 39: 2011

Publication details: Fergus Barrowman, 2013, Wellington

Part of: Sport

Keywords: Verse Literature

Conditions of use



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Sport 39: 2011



I called him whale. Because when he slept he made a hissing,
keening sound, like a whale breaching.
Sometimes he woke us both up with a frightening howl
and once we’d calmed down, told how he was trying
to explain something time-critical in the dream
but his jaw had rusted shut because of all the salt water.
My room was too small to house a whale.
This poem also is too small to describe a whale.
But at night his body grew long and broad.
He went out drifting, sidling on a flipper, his breath
pluming into the crooked rain.
In the future there will be pictures of how he changed
like the frightening story of evolution at the museum:
rat, fish, monkey, man.
I clung onto his back, trying to hold him
down there in the water.