Elizabeth Bradfield: Bow Sprit

Spritless, our boats, Mac.  No
finger pointing out over our waves,
no figure below, watching the course
bare-breasted and terrifying.  Not
for us.  Just the stem,
cutting water.
                          I’d have taken
any craft north that first time, no matter
the omens or lack of charms.  I was the sprit’s
spirit over waves.  Over ice.  Go & go
& go.  The old word’s spreat,

a sprout, shoot, branch.  We push
through anything, weeds that we are.
Grasses thrust up through parking lot
pavement, vines twisted through
windows. Wanted or not.
                                                  Spreat became
spike or spear.  We can’t unlink
from violence, I know.  We push
through what was whole: air,
wave, ice, world all uninvited.

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