Issue 68, Winter 1976
Like dots before your eyes, the ships
Roll in on the new tide and drop anchor.
“They will go away,” you think. But later
When you turn again, they’re still there.
Still blocking the rest of your island paradise
From view. You see the men in uniform
Stepping down into the longboats, then
The endless ripple of water as you lie back
And close your eyes: “It has all happened
So many times before—the ships, the men.
And always when they seemed to beckon
And I went to them, the bay was empty.
But now I am aware of their ways:
This time they will come to me.” Overhead,
The wind scrapes through palms that droop
Almost to where you can touch them. You hear
Nothing but stones tumbling in the sea.