Today I'm thinking about the people crossing the Mediterranean and the Bay of Bengal in battered, nothing boats. It reminds me of the fact that three of my grandparents spent weeks at sea before finally arriving on the shores of Singapore. My family is not unique; so many have done this, packed their lives into little leather and cloth bundles and waited and waited and hoped. "After Swim" can be found in my forthcoming collection, AND OTHER RIVERS (Math Paper Press).
growing webbed feet and gills
as we crossed the sea.
All of us
who docked to taste the chill up north
or took our first sea-legged steps
swaying with the coconut trees.
All of us from different boats
now point and say, You.
You are made from lesser stock.
You with darker skin, poorer eyes.
That one tooth of mine
sharper than yours.