Monday, March 26, 2012

Thad Rutkowski

Before the Hurricane 
Go with the undertow.
You can’t fight the current or the tide,
or rip around in your board shorts,
riding the pipeline like some surfer dude.
Hold the hand of the nearest one
and get pushed out, then in
before the sea turns from blue to gold,
and the sky from azure to black,
and the helicopters come out, looking for you.

Reach for the hand of the nearest one,
then jump or dive,
whichever works better
to keep you away from the washing machine,
the vortex of foam
that sinks ships and surfers alike.


Coming Topside

When we came topside, I took with me my favorite mother-stone, and she took her favorite mother-stone, and we started one family all over again. We needed to start this family over, because our former family was somehow erased, forgotten when we came topside. We’d left that family bottomside, and then we’d climbed upward, without any of our relatives, until we came topside. We were on the top of the barrier, the thing separating us from our families, and all we had were these stones that were our favorites. We took the stones out of our pockets, but we didn’t throw them away. We just separated them from our pockets, and when we did, it seemed that our mothers came topside, too.
“Did you bring your daughter-stones?” we asked our mothers.
        Our two mothers said yes, they had brought those stones. And then there were four of us and four stones, all on the top side of the barrier. And in this way we were able to start not one family, but two families, all over again.


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