My father talks of being twenty
days in an open boat. Adrift.
My father and others. War time
and the ocean was a bloodslick
clinging to continents.
They had been hit and only the dead
escaped the long days measured
by the turning boat beneath a cruel sun.
Each day a hundred hours of cracked
dry tongues along the chalk of teeth.
He remembers giving up, and that
his final thoughts were all about
a crooked back yard wall and thin
but glorious lines of silver smoke
from little chimneys. In winter,
rivers of gusting snow down white
and moaning lanes. In summer,
flowers and things they wished
they had done or said.
He recalls their believing themselves
to be dead yet each alive to mourn
his own death.
My father talks of the years having flown,
and of being twenty days adrift. His garden
is a blizzard of white roses.
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(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
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