Winner and Readers’ Choice favourite in the 2011 Alumni Poetry Contest
The children of fishermen laugh like saltwater
spilling over stony breakers. This is what they know –
overflowing, the sea
full of something it wants everyone to share.
Sometimes they watch, their eyes
like gentle gulls, to see
if speckles on the horizon might be boats
bringing home their fathers.
Wood, shells, bottles, and all scraps
of marine memory come to rest in this port –
proof the ocean never ends.
There, with the smell of brine so caught up
in their tales, the pirate poetry they fling
into the wind, they count the leagues to bed
and worship, tired, unconscious,
the moon’s magic, bowing
to the shepherd of tides.