Friday, August 20, 2010

The Wind Off the Waves (Hope & Children)

This boat will reach the shore. . .
O God, please, please, this boat will reach the shore?

A sailor who hopes to God that he remains a sailor because he cannot swim.

What will the children think who laugh and play on the beach
in the ribs of a dead ship without a sailor in sight of the long sea?

I left my mother for the breast of the wave,
the milk crescent swell of the ocean's moon.

But will the children know, and will their mothers?

How many mothers have come looking at dusk
to find a child curled in its fists in the ribs of a ship from the sea,
holding to the swollen wood with their small, brave hands,
trying to trace the contours, trying to breath.

How many children touch the ribs and cry as the mothers pass by
in their worry, their desperate plight, and mutter to themselves
above the sound of crashing ships and sailors far from land,
"Where is my child, not this, mine! Where is my morning light
in this rustling field of cast shadows?"

Ever deeper into the crucible embrace of watery planks, floating;
no truth, no truth to overshadow the height of human hearts.

O God, can I even speak?

The wind off the waves has run away
into the forest of rain,
moaning sea-spray, carrying my voice.

Hands to the rigging, my boys, my men.
We'll reach the land
one way,
or another.


Hope is a shallow wave in a storm.

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