On missing dolphins, again – Mandy Macdonald

On missing dolphins, again

You’d think they knew in advance
that I’d be below in the cabin when they surfaced,
ten of them at once,
and played with the ship
for a whole quarter of an hour.

Yannis the cook called them
in their own language, late last night,
and told them to show up this morning, or else.

He’s falling in love
with one of the Cool Girls, the feisty blonde one
– excellent choice – and he thought
the dolphins would be an unbeatable present.

Ten at once! a really prodigious effort,
bounding along the ship’s sides, teasing her flanks
then slicing away into the silver blue,
but I had to be in my cabin, didn’t I,
doing some dumbfuck thing with sunscreen and hats,
so by the time I’d tumbled up on deck
they were gone.

Now I’m wedged tight in the bow, another figurehead,
speckled with spray, scanning the sea-heavens,
where constellations of sunborn scintillae
punctuate the wavetops,
waiting for them to come back.


Mandy Macdonald’s poems appear in print and online, in Poetry Scotland,  The Fat Damsel, Clear Poetry, and elsewhere, most recently in the anthologies A Bee’s Breakfast and Aiblins: New Scottish Political Writing. The rest of the time, she sings.

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