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My Fathers The Baltic

by
 Along the strand stones, 
busted shells, wood scraps, 
bottle tops, dimpled 
and stainless beer cans.
Something began here a century ago, a nameless disaster, perhaps a voyage to the lost continent where I was born.
Now the cold winds of March dimple the gray, incoming waves.
I kneel on the wet earth looking for a sign, maybe an old coin, an amulet against storms, and find my face blackened in a pool of oil and water.
My grandfather crossed this sea in '04 and never returned, so I've come alone to thank creation as he would never for bringing him home to work, defeat, and death, those three blood brothers faithful to the end.
Yusel Prishkulnick, I bless your laughter thrown in the wind's face, your gall, your rages, your abiding love for women and money and all that money never bought, for what the sea taught you and you taught me: that the waves go out and nothing comes back.

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