tight ships

I used to think that I ran a tight ship
no leaks, barely aware of the ocean that held us
and so safe that I didn’t question
where we were going
or whether we would get there.
Watching the other boats
some not so tightly made
some hit by unexpected storms
one by one
all hell would break loose
and the cold, salty sea claimed them.
We called it tragedy, cancer, disease, or just bad luck
Misshapen bodies, demon possessed minds
Chaotic lives that had lost thier course
Something that doesn’t happen to tight ships.
A young Haitian woman stands in waist-high water
Just a few hundred yards from shore
So honest that she doesn’t need to pretend to have a boat
She has nothing
With magnificent manifestation of being, she reaches for land
And the water enfolds even her
I begin to know where I am
And breathe with the dark, heaving sea.