The Echo of What Remains Collected Poems of Wanda Lea Brayton
— Inspired by Adrienne Rich and Anne Sexton
Titanic arrogance sunk long ago into vague apparitions;
my ancestor survived the wreck, losing only ﬁngers, toes
and a previously assumed innocence.
In recent days,
odd bacteria have decided to consume its rusted hulk
left alone, yet not forgotten, to drift beneath calmly surging seas.
Adrienne can no longer dive
and Anne still strains with her awful rowing.
Courage is up to the rest of us now.
Will we continue to set sail into the unknown,
to seek uncharted shores or have we explored all,
once untouched by man's acidic hands?
Navigation was never my strong suit;
I got lost inside my own head several times,
only ﬁnding a pathway out when someone called my name twice
These depths are mighty and fearsome, you know.
It takes a certain braggadocio to even attempt to swim,
let alone go beneath the surface
where sharks dream of pale and tender ﬂesh.
I heard their seductive silence, an echo only in the distance,
when I was creeping slowly under waves,
searching for ancient ships' rotted planks
hiding kingdom's coin of the realm.
I quickly left, no less poor than I was before I dove in,
yet, much wiser.
I lost the map I once held in my hurry to surface,
in my haste to leave such terrors and myths behind.