Dolphin Lady [15 Words or Less]

Hello, and welcome to the first 15 Words or Less Poems of 2017! This is 15 Words or Less Poems, a low-pressure way to wake up your poetry brain (guidelines here), and I’m very glad you’re here. 

Lady and the Dolphin
Photo: Laura P. Salas

At NCTE in Atlanta, walking back and forth from my hotel to the convention center, I passed this lovely lady 4 or 5 times before I realized she was a dolphin on the other side. This pic is taken at an angle to make it more obvious. (Click here to see the dolphin side.) Isn’t she fabulous? This image makes me think of several things:

  1. The Music of Dolphins, my favorite Karen Hesse book
  2. swimming in the ocean with my family as a kid and having a pod of dolphins swim right through us
  3. Jekyll and Hyde

And here’s my first draft. I suddenly had this image of smiling women at a fancy restaurant, eating lunch without a care in the world, and turning into dolphins, then women, then dolphins. Bizarre!

dolphin ladies 15wol


It’s your turn! Have fun and stick to 15 WORDS OR LESS! (Title doesn’t count toward word count.)



21 Responses

  1. Teacher isn’t normal-
    now we know why.
    Heard a giant sneeze
    that came from behind!

    1. Amelia, love the fact that you saw a teacher. Fits your poem perfectly.

  2. Tangled in the Waves

    Like you, we’re smart
    and we breathe air.
    But we do better
    without long hair.

    1. Lauren, I can see the lady’s hair “plastered” on her forehead. Cute.

      1. Thank you, Martha. I can see that now too. You are always so kind to comment.

        It’s interesting to see both the interpretations of Laura’s pictures and each other’s poems. I am afraid that mine could have used a little help. After rereading it later in the day, I am not sure it is clear that I was trying to use the dolphin’s point of view.

    2. Dolphins have much better things to do than mess with long hair, don’t they:>)


    Noticing me,
    she looked down her nose.
    But I understood-
    she envied my toes.

    1. And the look in those eyes too. The haughtiness was evident. Good last line.

  4. Good morning Laura and 15-WOL fans. Amazing art and photo. Love the humor in your poem. I thought of all the documentaries I have watched about dolphins and humans.


    fins noses
    purples royals
    waves ruffs
    divers pearls
    mammals swimmers
    pods socialites
    kin for sure

    1. Wow — so many comparisons in your poem of seeming unrelated things, and then that unifying last line. Wonderful.

    2. I love how you weave together this cloud of words and then tie it all neatly up with that last line!

  5. Dream

    Rocking chair waves singing rhymes
    Grandmothers nasally laughter
    tinny fingers count dolphin charms

  6. What a cool statue–made me think of a superhero in disguise.

    Dolphin Girl

    By day she cloaks
    in kelp and shoal,

    At night she steps
    with human soul.

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