Unlikely by Colleen Crawford Cousins

POEM: Unlikely

A poem by Colleen Crawford Cousins

BY COLLEEN CRAWFORD COUSINS

My great great great grandfather
in 1820         a pale boy on a ship
silenced by his mother’s groans                 seasick         all of them
the Cape of Storms and then the journey up the shipwrecked coast
the savage stories of the sailors         the food
the rankness below                 he saw a whale breach
too many porpoises finning
leaping through the unending sea with a terrible purpose
the strangely human eyes
(Baines has painted the arrival
a rowing boat                 green breakers          beached)
East London a rough town
cobbled streets         the Quigney
the hostile faces of the porters
clicking in their gabble          smelling of wood smoke
the hard sky intolerably blue         intolerable

His father said
we are here to build this country up         unlikely
he thought

 

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