On the boat

On the boat we were mostly virgins,

we talked about who we were going to be -

waitresses, seamstresses, nurses,

we didn’t talk about why we had to leave.

 

We talked about where we were going to be,

the wooden frame house with a picket fence,

but we didn’t talk about why we had to leave

as we touched the lockets around our necks.

The wooden frame house with a picket fence

led to talk of lost villages, lost streets

as we touched the lockets around our necks.

We didn’t foresee tenements that grew thick as trees

 

when we talked of lost villages, lost streets

and the diligent men we were going to marry.

We didn’t foresee tenements that grew thick as trees,

the suitcase of memories we would have to carry

 

to the diligent men we were going to marry

when we were waitresses, seamstresses, nurses

nor the suitcase of memories we would have to carry

from the boat, where we were mostly virgins.

 

Jane Clarke

 

 
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