Thursday, 6 October 2016

In response to Island by Langston Hughes


I cannot sea the island
but I see other sailors who pass by,
they holler to me across the rough sea,
tell me of a place where sun shines once more
on golden sands.
Keep going, they say,
and you will reach the shore.

Unable to steer,
all I can do is succumb to each wave,
fearing each time that I might drown
but emerging over
and over
to catch my breath.

Wet-through and windtorn,
I hold onto hope like a rusty rudder,
read again the message from a future self,
tossed aboard in a broken bottle:
this too shall pass.

In between,
I drift on a listless tide,
idle my fingers in cool water
when I can.
I pray
that each wave brings me
closer to a place
to land.