Whale Songs at 52 Hertz
Once, a scientist heard the voice of a whale so singular
that he became obsessed, a benevolent Ahab.
He named the whale 52 for the unusual frequency of its song,
a frequency unable to be heard by fin, humpback, or blue.
The scientist recorded its calls through the trackless Pacific,
a voice rising from unknowable fathoms,
capable of carrying for thousands of miles through
brine and wave and coral grove.
For twelve years, the scientist searched and chased and dreamed
of this mysterious creature. Unable even to determine its sex,
he could only surmise it was doomed to solitude,
for so strange was its call, it might as well be mute,
or all the other whales of the sea be deaf,
incapable of being heard or understood.
Other scientists agree to disagree about its very existence,
its uniqueness, and whether or not it truly feels lonely.
Twelve years of listening, twelve years of searching,
twelve years of never even glimpsing tail, blowhole exhalations,
or ridge of spine. And no matter how many may sail together,
no one knows loneliness like men at sea,
bereft of our ancestral dust.
No one knows loneliness like one who seeks,
combing the world’s largest ocean for a single beast.
The man dies and the song fades, undefined.
Lauren Scharhag is an award-winning writer of fiction and poetry. She lives on Florida’s Emerald Coast. To learn more about her work, visit www.laurenscharhag.blogspot.com.