This poem, entitled “Remembering,” doesn’t need much of an explanation, so I’ll make a quick point. Poetry often attempts to tell two stories. The narrative gives the surface meaning, while there are individual words inside the narrative that hint at the meaning that lies below the surface. What that meaning is depends on the context of the reader.
In the ocean of his fatherhood he went to drown
the man he used to be. Each morning he held
his memories under the water until they stopped
and sunk into the tides. Each night
he felt the creatures of prophecy swimming
against the undertows like salmon on a river run.
He did not tell his family that he’d gone
to meet the creatures in their tributary flows.
They found him later washed along the gravel beds
gasping liquid oxygen and flailing for the sea.
His slippery eyes stared up at them, their figures
distorted by the presence of the air.
With their talons and their slipstream paws
they spread his silver, scaly ashes everywhere.
Note: Poem first published in Up The Staircase Quarterly in 2015.