from Letters from a Stranger
Winner of the Colorado Book Award
by James Tipton
These awkward efforts to be alive,
to wade through our own debris,
toward shore, toward other people,
we take too seriously.
Our ships wreck, and we survive;
our hearts, stolen by pirates,
are not ransomed; but we
cannot weep forever for these lost things.
The sea, not the ship, is our mother.
The waves are never clumsy.
They know when to break,
to give up, to go back.
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