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Monday, August 31, 2015


by Ann Malaspina

Graphic by Imad Abu Shtayyah.

Off the island of Kos
you crawl through the sea
coughing salt
flailing arms—
while all around,
fishermen scoop babies,
haul grown men,
rescue women
from sunken boats
and slippery rocks
all day and night
for weeks
and months
until there is no
room on the beach
for even one more.

Still you splash to shore,
eyes stinging, skin raw
from terror nights and hunger days,
from lost husband,
lost roof,
lost country.
You swallow sea.
You fight the wind.
It is no use.
It is all there is.
It is.

When suddenly a wave
lifts you high and clean--
the same wave
that drove Odysseus
so far away
and home again.
Frothy warm and curled
like your mother's arms,
the wave lifts you,
carries you,
tumbles you
onto earthly sand
of despair and hope,
and the people make room.

A poet and a children's author living in New Jersey, Ann Malaspina has published two poems at TheNewVerse.News.