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Scarlet Lady, I Call You To Me

Last fall, I got to sail on a Virgin Voyages ship called Scarlet Lady, and I've been obsessed with her ever since. It may have been the best vacation I've ever had. Not a week goes by when I don't think about sailing on her again (or one of her sister ships). I know she'll figure into many of my poems, and I'm envisioning my future workshops on board.

This poem is only published here.

The wake of a cruise ship from a top deck on a sunny day under blue skies
Photo by Carol Everett Adams on Scarlet Lady, Virgin Voyages

Scarlet Lady, I Call You To Me

Scarlet Lady traces infinity on the surface

like the Schoolhouse Rock ice skater.

Sky falls from blue to red. I wish to read

the ocean again, hard wind

shoving me around—it doesn’t dare on land,

not yet. But wind is coming soon

pushing us to a new port,

a new land at last. Is it fission?

Hope it’s fusion. It’s energy of a kind,

whispering here already. The way

your fingers tingle as you go about

your day, little tasks for little moments,

heads full of small imaginings and tiny salads.

The earth is a garden you’ve neglected

to tend. Ideas you’ve left

on the ground, not rooted, not watered.

Will water cover all again, to reseed?

It’s not inevitable. It’s not too late—

hope-buoys are scattered here and there.

Keep your eyes open. Waves slide shallow

on the beaches of the planet, reach in, reach out.

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