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       sea burial


N.O.A.A.* took her in a ship to bury

her at sea among the marine animals:

dolphins, manatees, seals and sea

lions she’d dedicated her life to

protecting, an overcast, gray day,

the clouds like a coffin lid above the

raging spindrift, but suddenly a shaft

of light breaks through the satin-padded

sky and three humpback whales appear

slippery in the distant waves, leather-arched

and smooth curves gleaming in the light,

to escort her to the purple deep.


 *National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration

Jan Ball’s poems appear internationally in journals such as: Calyx, Orbis, Parnassus and Phoebe. Her three chapbooks were published with Finishing Line Press as well as her first full-length poetry collection, I Wanted to Dance with My FatherChapter of Faults discusses in poetry, her seven years as a Catholic nun. Orbis nominated one of her poems for The Pushcart in 2020 and Constellations nominated her in 2021, and twice so far for The Best of the Net.

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