My father talks of being twenty
days in an open boat. Adrift.
My father and others. War time
and the ocean was a bloodslick
clinging to continents.
They had been hit and only the dead
escaped the long days measured
by the turning boat beneath a cruel sun.
Each day a hundred hours of cracked
dry tongues along the chalk of teeth.
He remembers giving up, and that
his final thoughts were all about
a crooked back yard wall and thin
but glorious lines of silver smoke
from little chimneys. In winter,
rivers of gusting snow down white
and moaning lanes. In summer,
flowers and things they wished
they had done or said.
He recalls their believing themselves
to be dead yet each alive to mourn
his own death.
My father talks of the years having flown,
and of being twenty days adrift. His garden
is a blizzard of white roses.
Brian Wake's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (ADRIFT by Brian Wake )
- AK-47, Edward Kofi Louis
- Poem for Dwayne, Jenny Santiago
- Raschid, Edward Kofi Louis
- Cupcake capers, Roann Mendriq
- Dschamila, Edward Kofi Louis
- Scattered dreams, gajanan mishra
- The Glow on the Outback Hill, David Lewis Paget
- God's Kind of Poetry, Diane Hine
- Whole world enjoys with this pain,, Aftab Alam
- Epitaph, Naveed Khalid
Poem of the Day
- 04 Tongues Made Of Glass, Shaun Shane
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- At Last She Comes, Robert Louis Stevenson
- Invictus, William Ernest Henley
- If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
- Daffodils, William Wordsworth
- Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
- If, Rudyard Kipling
- Trees, Joyce Kilmer
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
- Heather Burns
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
(13 September 1916 – 23 November 1990)
(7 May 1861 – 7 August 1941)
William Carlos Williams
(17 September 1883 – 4 March 1963)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)