we lined up like soldiers at the edge of the sea wall,
old, young and in-between,
backs straight, eyes peeled, waiting.
we watched them come up for breath,
a trinity, then triple dive and disappear
only to resurface below our feet,
white dolphin bellies hurtling past
like demigods, tracking the school of silver mullet,
mad with flight.
it was ballet, it was myth, it was war.
or was it rodeo?
dolphin cowboys, corralling schools of flashing prey,
lassoing them with waves of ultrasonic sound —
swallowing the spoils.
i thought about mermaids, too,
and all the ancient lore spun
by mariners wandering those lonely seas —
and why not?
the depths are mesmerizing, even for those of us
on dry land,
with kids and dogs in tow
and dinner to make
and life to face,