Slave Ship

I lie on my back
Look up through the grate
Light streams in bars across the planks
The black and white reflection of an angry god
A pair of shoes walks across
Keeping watch with silk-stocking regularity
The slow, insistent plodding of minutes lost
Happy in his stuff-bellied fortune
He breathes clean, salty air.

We here below packed in chains
Swallow the thick foul vapors of human waste
Rolling in filth with each turbulent toss of the wretched vessel
The moans of the dying and the bones of the dead
Join in eerie incantation
On the doors of conscience
A haunting litany to invoke the spirits of the wind…
The seas revolt
Hurling epithets of froth and foam
To wash the sin away
The gull shrieks
An agonizing plea
For mercy
But deaf and blind, haughty lumps of men
Shut all sense and stop their hearts
Their thirst for gold will not be quenched
Till millions die in shame
Their pockets lined
With generations
Of untold wealth.

(Previously published in Avalon, Oct.1999; Honor and Remembrance, Indelible Mark Publishing,2007)

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Comments (2)

feel sorry for them people why does it happen
good poem for my homework :)