By Charles Springer

Outside Ken’s bedroom window

is a whale. Not a whale of a something

but a humpback, according to his Book

of Whales. His mom is screaming

because her garden of the month

is under it and its ajar mouth

and louvered shutter of baleen

are pressed against the kitchen

window where tomatoes redden

on the sill. Ken’s dad is on the horn

to whalers his fingers stopped on

in the Yellow Pages. As a backup he’s calling

the chainsaw rental place over on Broad.

Ken’s dad’s the practical one,

his mom, the hysterical one just like all

the families on the block with an only child.


Charles Springer has degrees in anthropology and is an award-winning artist, having lived much of his life in Cincinnati, Philadelphia and New York. He currently eats, sleeps, bicycles and writes from the family homestead in the mountains of northcentral Pennsylvania where he earns a living in advertising and is constantly trying to keep his barn from falling down. Over the years Charles has enjoyed publishing in Apalachee Review, Boxcar Poetry Review, The Cincinnati Review, Faultline, Heliotrope, Oak Bend Review and Oxford Magazine, among others. New poems are forthcoming in Sawbuck and Avatar Review.

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