Today's poem is by Carol Rumens

Pledge to the Freight Canvasser

I'll take you with me when I board the ship
And if the ship turns out to be a boat,
The boat, a raft, the raft, a tattering branch
Flung from a boy's seaside story, tethered
At once to every whim that shakes the rootless ocean,
I'll stow your name, I'll roll it tinier than
Your shyest signature, and we'll be snug,
Low in the water, singing as we have to,
As ever targeted and separated
Children of the war. With hands and knees
Wrapped tight around our names, we'll sail together
Until the ocean tires and there's an orchard:
And if the orchard's just a single fruit tree
And if the fruit tree is a single branch,
And if the branch has only one good blossom
It will be yours, to form you always, when
I leave your name, there, warrior, underneath your ship.

Copyright © 2003 Carol Rumens All rights reserved
from Hex
Bloodaxe Books / Dufour Editions
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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