“Marooned” by Melissa Balmain

Melissa Balmain


Nothing moves us like a person stuck—
a toddler in a well, a stranded scout:
we gather at our screens and pray for luck.

Will storms bypass the climbers? Run amok?
Will all those boaters perish like beached trout?
Nothing moves us like a person stuck,

a coach trapped with his soccer team, their pluck
despite the odds, the rising tide of doubt;
we mourn a diver who ran out of luck

and hold our breath while others roll and tuck
through limestone passages to get them out.
Nothing moves us like a person stuck—

except for seeing (teary, thunderstruck)
the things we’ve longed for finally come about:
rescues soaked in undiluted luck.

And then we’re back to making our next buck,
to swimming after consequence and clout.
Nothing moves us. Like a person stuck,
we peer from caves of bone and pray for luck.

from Poets Respond
July 15, 2018


Melissa Balmain: “Like many who rejoiced this week at the Wild Boars’ rescue in Thailand, I love how such stories unite us—and wish the unity would last.” (web)

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