Today's poem is by Suzanne Manizza Roszak

Sea Specters

From the highest point of the top deck,
they threw the babies into the sea. The air

was thick with wind-salt. They threw

the babies into the sea, their limbs bare
so that the small bodies would tumble far

and dance unhindered by linen or wool.

They threw the babies just far enough
into the sea that nets would catch them

and they could bathe, swimming like

they already knew how to do, and be
reeled up, babbling stories of minnows

and what else they had seen. They threw

the babies into the sea because they were
winged babies who would only rest for

a moment in the cold, sloshing water

before plunging down, surging up and
breaking triumphant through the surface

of the ocean lapping behind the boat

like an expectant dog. Later the babies
would dot the sky, circling the masts and

faces of believing parents and god-uncles

and family pets before touching down,
cold and dry, salt staining their skin. They

did not throw the babies into the sea,

but there were days when it would have
seemed best, when the waters thickened

with ghosts and the boat struggled to jerk

forward or spun in unrepenting circles,
stalling itself in whorl after whorl.

Copyright © 2017 Suzanne Manizza Roszak All rights reserved
from Poetry Northwest
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

Archives  Web Weekly Features  About Verse Daily  FAQs  Submit to Verse Daily  Follow Verse Daily on Twitter

Copyright © 2002-2017 Verse Daily All Rights Reserved