Whales of Summer Miles out past Cape Cod’s last curl of coastline, the whales of summer belly up to an underwater banquet, marked on maritime maps as Stellwagen Bank. The giants surface with exhaled blows and open-jawed feasts of plankton and krill scooped up amid tons of water sifted and spat past brushy baleen filters. Flocks of canny seabirds track the pungent smell, circle and land in the gaping hangars to pluck a pilfered meal, squawking their good fortune. The whales flirt with tourists, wave fins, flash flukes revealing singular designs that naturalists recognize and greet by name. Humpbacks propel their huge hulks into the air before inhaling and diving into the deep. The whales leave footprints on the surface, flat circles that widen and slowly surrender to the chop. In gobsmacked silence, all eyes stare into the distance, casting hope upon the waters.
Emily-Sue Sloane (emilysuesloane.com) lives in Huntington Station, NY. Her work has appeared in journals and anthologies, including Amethyst Review; Corona, a Walt Whitman Birthplace anthology; Front Porch Review; Shot Glass Journal; The Long Island Quarterly; and Boston Literary Magazine. Writing helps her appreciate life, especially in a pandemic.