[The whale already]

a golden shovel

The whale already taken got away: the moon alone
Yosa Buson, translated by Hiroaki Sato

What is endangered, the
rest of us ignore. The whale,
loved by children and cartoonists, already
dwindles. Bycatch has taken
them. The tiny creatures they consume haven’t got
a chance to outlast the warming. A way
to safeguard whales is to deny ourselves the
discs and car exhaust. The moon
sees us at all cost alone.

Copyright © 2022 by Kimiko Hahn. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on February 11, 2022, by the Academy of American Poets.