Flotsam.

by Cormac Lally

As a child I walked for hours upon
A strand where golden sunlight shone
To find the treasures, junk and so
That waves upon the beach would throw
Sand polished glass, abrased, opaque
The tattered bones of cod and hake
The limbs of trees so calcified
Played notes so sweet when they were dried
These beaches now play host again
To memories of desperate men
Where chance and fate won’t be denied
With punctured hulls, where engines died
And men in suits procrastinate
And gibber, gawk and masturbate
Then seek to soothe with eloquence
“Erect the razor wire fence.”
The flotsam now these days I see
Are boys of eight and girls of three
Whole branches of one family
Are offered up, now to the sea
Oh Neptune now, does this appease
Oh gods of war, these refugees
The offspring of your vanities
Begat, of foreign policies.
One day these tides will wash and wane
And offer up the nameless slain
And children walking on the beach
Will see the bones, chalk white and bleached
The tiny skulls with baby teeth
Carrion cleansed of mortal meat
Current carried to these lands
Dug from sands, by tiny hands.
Enquiring then from whence these came
And we cannot answer, for the shame.