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Here you will find the writings of the poet Theodore Waterfield


The meeting was on shipwrecks.
Like rare flowers under Lake Erie,
plotted and designed by the currents,
the University’s audience was primed
for danger, romance,
the fragile countenance of submerged artifacts.
And I joined the cookies, punch,
finding a chair by the projector,
ready to hear of shipwrecks,
and purses full of coins,
old cups and rudders.
Graceful planks,
like the bones of fish
lying in a murky grave,
ready to be the fossils of our time.

What a handsome crowd,
unusually handsome!
Was it by chance
that a certain kind of man and woman
is drawn to shipwrecks?
More erudite?
They looked intelligent,
faces reserved, but young even for the old,
and eating my cookie,
I asked, why was I here?
Why did I circle like a fly
around the remains of ancient catastrophes,
mishaps of fate,
life pulled beneath the waves
in maelstrom or explosion?

And the cookie became dry in my mouth.
The pink punch came to lips
as I realized,
these were ghosts,
these were the precious cargo
of the ships.
That we are shipwrecks.
We are all going down.
We will all have tales to tell
will be sold for salvage,
one by one,
each of us,
with the bright sail of life
pulling us on,
not tonight,
not here,
but unexpected.

The reefs will claim us,
or a storm,
or a collision with the unknown
our SOS going over the sea,
our prayers released like songs
into the gale.
And others will gather,
charting our bones,
our fates,
and look unusually handsome,
remembering us as rare flowers
cast somewhere under the waves,
waiting to be discovered,
telling our stories.

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