Whale-song seeps against the mountains, back-lit
with glimpses of cliff, bright within the pines.
No one knew for years the sea contained sound,
but imagine the first who understood
those unfurling lengths as pulses of song,
imagine the first scientist who sighed
  My god, they’re singing. And you too would have
gone—Oh my god—whatever you believe—
It’s just what happens when there’s nothing else
to say. The memory of my father
standing in the snow, the blinding light not
of the sun but of his profile, sun-cut—
the way, atop the mountain, he would turn
and we’d follow, no matter what happened.


Sophie Klahr is the author of Meet Me Here At Dawn (YesYes Books). Her work appears in The New Yorker, The American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, Blackbird, and elsewhere. Alongside Robby Auld, she is the co-editor/creator of Teen Sequins, an annual celebration of poetry by teenagers. She lives in Nebraska and/or California.