Today's poem is by Sierra Golden

The Sound of Oars
        To hear the faint sotmd of oars in the silence as a rowboat
        comes slowfy out and then goes back is trufy worth
        all the years of sorrow that are to come.

        —Jack Gilbert, "A Brief for the Defense"

I'm here, Jack, like you say, listening to the sound of oars,
dipping and dripping while they pull across the sound,
and, it's true, I'm enjoying my life. At times, I've almost forgotten
the faces of suffering, the flies, but this is not what God wants.
Look, even here, the sheen of oil, a radiant rainbow scar,
and the scent of bleach hovering above a fish creek.
It's the same everywhere: sorrow and slaughter,
the world burning with hopelessness and violence.
Tonight I stand on the bow of a small boat, moored in a tiny port,
the town three shuttered cafes and a bar, shouting and music.
In the morning while sea otters slap through the kelp, feeding,
someone wakes in the street, the neighborhood's curtains clamped
shut. Nobody escapes, but you say to make injustice
the only measure of our attention is to praise the Devil
What then? Your stubborn delight is not enough either,
even the rockfish migrate, rising from darkness at sunrise,
falling again at dusk.

Copyright © 2017 Sierra Golden All rights reserved
from Aristotle's Lantern
Seven Kitchens Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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