On the Island of Recollection
Teach a woman to fish, you have fed her for a lifetime. ~ Proverb
The light that day was watery.
The light that day, I remember,
was watery. Alison drove the launch
to the reef where we snorkeled.
I’d grown through the week into
solitude, stilled as a wading bird.
You learn to fish for kindness among
gentler creatures, agree to praise a god
on Sundays when offered a seat in the pew.
Holy places all about, there are, there are.
My heart too tired to protest. Gifts. This girl loved
my boyfriend, the boyfriend she. A palm tree
rattled its fronds and propped my back until
the little plane returned for my knapsack and me.
Yes, in a Caribbean archipelago I tipped and
emptied out like rainwater from a rubber boot.
You see, that day of watery light, I was young
enough to swim to where the nurse shark napped
without a ripple of fear or the urge to look up
at the shadow of the hull anchored above.
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Assistant Editor: Alicia Wozniak/Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: elephant journal archives
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