I heard the whirl of sails unfurling,
the sound of a staff clattering
against the dock, the silent splendor
of the rising sun—All of this,
and I was weeping while the flames
flooded the sky above us;
I saw you leaning on the mast, read
your lips: a prayer I cannot yet repeat.
This is my inheritance:
legends I’ve already told my children,
the battlefield dawn of the seashore,
tones cracking under a warrior’s weight.



By Heidi Turner