Byron Bay and Whales

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When we were kids, we’d go to Byron Bay, to watch them haul in and then butcher, whales. We’d walk the impossibly long jetty that stuck out into the half moon of the Pacific. The water so deep, at the end, that a child could dream all the deepest things that only children dream might be, there, watching back. Some times there were sharks that followed the whaling boats. They’d take chunks from the flukes, in sport and slither off.

Then chains, then rail carts, then in the yards, the men with spiked boots would walk on the beasts and slice with blades, like hockey sticks, the filigree yards of whale flesh.

We stopped going long before they stopped whaling.

Byron Bay and Whales

Keith Russell

Newcastle, Australia

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