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 Father. Chapter 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.