American Poetry, Poetry

I Am Not Seaworthy – Toni Morrison

Although Toni Morrison, who passed away yesterday, was primarily a novelist and an essayist, The Dewdrop was excited to find a short series of poems also penned by the author as a special contribution to the Black Mountain Institute. The five poems were printed back in 2002 for a limited edition letterpress that was released to help raise funding for the institute. I Am Not Seaworthy is one of these poems, a reflection on life and death, an expression of the desire to be ‘earth bound’ and ‘star fixed’ rather than cut loose riding the sea. 

 

I Am Not Seaworthy

I am not seaworthy.
Look how the fish mistake my hair for home.
I had a life, like you. I shouldn’t be riding the sea.
I am not seaworthy.
Let me be earth bound; star fixed
Mixed with sun and smacking air.
Give me the smile, the magic kiss
To trick little boy death of my hand.
I am not seaworthy. Look how the fish mistake my hair for home.

 

Toni Morrison (1931-2019)
From: Believer Magazine

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