Today's poem is by Constantine Contogenis


I have seen this water-level raise you
though I recall our trip on a saltier sea
and how I confused the captain with his crew.

But I'm not saying ships sink to some avenue
or once sunk, that keel, ribs, sails are not heavy.
I'm just content to let the water-level raise you.

I used to think of commands making what ensued
but those sailors gave way to authority
while I confused even the order with the crew.

Whatever open or locked waters we went through
each knot I mastered obeyed rope, and rope only.
So I'm sure the water-level can raise you.

You floated so well—maybe I did ignore who
you are, but your very skill reflected me.
Now I'm reversing captain and crew.

I've told myself: salmon can't succeed but do,
fools' ships come in, the will wills passively.
I'll give the water-level time to raise you.
I'll stop thinking of you as pilot or crew.

Copyright © 2004 Constantine Contogenis All rights reserved
from Cimarron Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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