manatee 1
The Manatees
by Michele Cuomo

We stopped and watched the manatees
along the shore of Lake Monroe

The water was the palest blue at first,
                                      almost white

The sky had low clouds to meet it
then yellow
and pink

A fin lifted and lowered
indolently sliced waves

A sleek raised and rounded back
                                      sidled back down

a ring remained on the water


then a snout
took a few gulps of air
like a dog sniffing in the snow

the water turned to ink

the streetlights came on
and still we stood
our bikes held on hips

I did not want to leave them
                         in the dark


PAINTING: Manatee mother and calf by VividSeaArt. Prints available at

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Seeing glimpses of manatees unexpectedly was a delightful moment—how glad I am we stopped and took it in.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Michele Cuomo lives in Winter Springs, Florida.  Her poems have been seen in Raven’s Perch, Spillwords, and Silver Birch Press.