We always head straight for the dinosaurs,
then the ocean creatures. I goggle
at the blue whale suspended overhead,
gargantuan, larger than a dinosaur,
born bigger than a bus—
how can it hang in the air
or subsist on a broth
of microscopic plankton?
My son never pauses, he rushes
to the sharks. The whale’s so big
and he’s so small, he can’t see it,
can’t register an object on that scale.
The Hall of Ocean Life is dark blue
and dim, the whale a lighter
shade—maybe for him it merges
with the room. I wonder how old
he’ll be when he first sees it, and
what he’ll say. And what immensity
hangs over me, beyond my ken,
a scope I can’t compass? How
many years will I put in visiting
this dim room teeming with wonders,
jellyfish to giant squid, until
I look up and see
what has been here all the time?
Photo by idua-japan on Flickr
© 2012 Barbara Louise Ungar. All rights reserved.