Wednesday, September 30, 2009

July on the Gulf

I caught sight of a head
bobbing in the whitecaps,
was drawn down the beach
to examine it, to ascertain
that it was not human.

I stared at black hair spread
and trailing over boiling waters
as you floated facedown.
I was mesmerized, rooted there
by the sick feeling in my stomach.

But I found my eyes were soon drawn
to other sights, the lights
of distant boats and the fabulous
towering flames eating an oil rig
and I wanted to burn up too.

I heard a small cry and turned;
my daughter was running, lost
in the dusk and crying for her mother.
I turned from you then, stopped lying
to myself that I care enough to save a stranger.

I'm human too, and no heroine.
I want to preserve my own flesh.
You were really only driftwood
or perhaps a seaweed-bearded buoy
anchored in the rolling filth.


  1. I am enchanted by your ability in this poem to make the reader quickly and succinctly visualize the setting, as if he or she were the very character on the beach, and how the true condition of the human heart is laid bare. Good poem. I enjoy it the more i read it.