Poetry Daily: http://www.poems.com/

A Raft of Grief

"The raft that means 'a great number' is not related at all to the
raft that carries people or their possessions in the water. The two
words are homonyms . . . "
                   ŚMorris Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins

If only there were a boat,
low and long and loaded
with all we'd brought or built:
the fatal inattentions,
anxieties and tics
that time had sanctified,
our good and bad intentions,
rages, lapses, and aches.
If only it were that easy,
to stand only ankle-
deep in the sullied water
hoisting our shared cargo,
sinking no further beneath
its weight. If only the boat
did not need a rower;
we'd push it off together
then wade to opposite banks
absolved at last, forever,
buoyant, watching it go.

Chelsea Rathburn

A Raft of Grief
Autumn House Press

To view this poem online, visit the Poetry Daily archive at http://www.poems.com/archive.php
View a large-print version of this poem