White sea, salted throat

Quiet sea, sand, salt and the bones of an old
Barnacled corpse, a pitiful anchored relic
Waiting for the pallbearers from the stone church;
The voice of the priest, fatness to a burial,
Behind the pulpit, white suited,
Eyelids and lips storming the pews;
Salt in his throat, and the tongue, burning like an ash can.

As the pallors gather, of neighborly faces and hands,
The widow pallor is gathering stones
Off the land-spit and the mouth-plugged tidal pools;
Poultice for her wounds, the lines of her eyes
Scalded by the sun. Her limbs, shadow shrieks
At an onlooker, trembling, drawn like old material,
Things, things— a wooden crutch, toeless foot;

A naked mouth, sun-bleached and awkward for a word.
Did I escape, I wonder?
Tremulous breath like fishing line— his water rod
No longer touching a wave, no longer sucking
A depth. I called you. I called you.
Waves pushing him to a rip tide, curve of water
Leaping into glassfuls of sea, rolling the notes of a dead bell.

Then, from the breakwater, his face turning, slowly, slowly,
I saw you— plumbed in the well of the good book, praying.
I rose from under glued sheets of waves,
Folded body, staggering with thoughts of my wife.
I have two legs and I moved smilingly, across the stretch
Of the beach. An empty touch, propped up by the wind.
Folded hands shaking, goodbye, as the sea reclaimed him.

Copyright © 08/11/18 lance sheridan®


White sea, salted throat

23 comments on “White sea, salted throat

  1. kaddietucker says:

    Don’t know how it happened, but somehow I—or WordPress—unfollowed you🤨 ????
    Looks like I have some reading to catch up on.

  2. -Eugenia says:

    Eloquent piece! Thank you for following BrewNSpew.

  3. Did I just read a masterpiece? Each line a morsel to the soul shipwrecked and starving. I don’t want to be greedy but I am hungry for more.

  4. Such striking imagery.

  5. Barbara Kasey Smith says:

    Powerful, remarkable, images blow the mind, awakens the soul to feel the pain of years of suffering in the sea.

  6. almerighi says:

    Lance, I really like your poems, I would like you to send me via mail 4 or 5 with your biographical note and a photo, I would like to translate them and publish them on my blog to make you known by the Italian public. If you want to write me here flavioalmerighi@sga3.it, thanks and sorry for the trouble

  7. sherazade says:

    Coinvolgente l’associazione tra natura è umano il colore dell’acqua e la gola salata…


  8. Perfect words to create a memory of things past. Throughly enjoyed reading your work😊
    Also, thank you for the follow.

  9. ssfrerking says:

    I just randomly clicked this poem and discovered something gorgeous. I will be back.

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