Of the Sea*
September 4, 2016
Say it in all caps.
That you were wet and walloped.
That before you spoke for your people
you pulled nets black at dusk,
salt and blood on your hands.
Somewhere it happened, the camas
still moist in the meadow. Sharp knives
and northern lights were not enough.
Coal seams ran, dirty and dark.
Old men stopped standing on towers,
went up river to empty cabins,
played dusty book charades.
We cannot outlast each other, you said.
And so they came. Six man boats
pulled hard down the strait, as birds
burst from silt then circled back,
one wing high to the wind.
. . . . .
*Copyright 2016 by Jacob Hartsoch. Broadside illustrated by Megan Carroll.