By Chrys Tobey


When I was ten, my mother sat me down
and told me my real father was a narwhale.
My report cards always read, Daydreams too much.
What my teachers did not know is that I was busy
dreaming about eating a grilled cheese sandwich
with a narwhale or how all 4,000 pounds
of my narwhale father was going to sit
on the kids who threw rocks the size of houses
at my head.  How he was going to stick
his overgrown tooth in Robby’s eye for stealing
carved pumpkins from my back porch.
How he was going to submerge like a submarine
when large Lisa Dooley challenged
me to meet her behind the janitor’s tool shed.
My mother thought I was slow, which
was fine because I loved Peewee Herman.
Doctors looked inside my head, but all they could ever
see were narwhales fencing with their tusks
off the coast of Russia, or catching some cod.

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CHRYS TOBEY was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. She left Cleveland when she was a youngin’ to dwell among the planted palm trees in Los Angeles for a decade, where she received her M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Antioch University. Currently, she lives in Portland, Oregon with her asthmatic cat and significant person. She teaches composition at a community college, freelance edits, and sometimes collects and sells old things. Chrys’s chapbook, Wash Away: Marie Antoinette Visits my Mind, was published by Finishing Line in 2008. Her poems have appeared in many literary journals, including Burnside Review, Margie, Salt Hill, Pearl & Rattle.

One response to “Narwhales”

  1. Nate says:

    One of my favorites. Like sadness in disguise. Amazing poem!

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