Row along, children, nothing to see here,
it’s not an oar that floats in the seaweed
but a branch, slender as hope;
that stifled cry was a gull—
how much time have I spent reassuring you?
probably not enough;
a beached boy lying face down is not a boy,
but a large doll,
waves turn his face
from the pitiless sun,
but keep his blue shorts on,
one last kindness.
Trish Saunders divides her time between Seattle and Honolulu. Her poems are published or forthcoming in Snapping Twig, Gnarled Oak, Busted Dharma, Blast Furnace Press, Off the Coast, Poets and Poetry, and Here/There Poetry.
Photograph of Syrian and Iraqi refugees arriving in Greece by Ggia.
Photograph of the body of drowned Syrian toddler Alan Kurdi by Nilufer Demir.