#1: ABROAD THE VICTORIOUS, JANUARY, 1971

You were the short ferry ride I took
from my virginity
to the rocky shores of womanhood

A short, choppy crossing
that knocked me down
my legs splayed
peasant skirt thrown up
around the smooth bowl of my belly

Your long black hippie hair
and wet black Moses beard
blocked the sun

Your man’s head
cast a shadow on my face
erasing its features

You lost the course of who I was
came with another girl’s name
on your breath

After this passage
the salt of the sea
below the hull
would never taste the same.


KARLA LINN MERRIFIELD, a nine-time Pushcart-Prize nominee and National Park Artist-in-Residence, has had 600+ poems appear in dozens of journals and anthologies. She has 12 books to her credit, the newest of which is Bunchberries, More Poems of Canada, a sequel to Godwit: Poems of Canada (FootHills), which received the Eiseman Award for Poetry. She is assistant editor and poetry book reviewer for The Centrifugal Eye. Visit her resurrected blog, Vagabond Poe Redux, at karlalinn.blogspot.com. Google her name to learn more; Tweet @LinnMerrifiel; www.facebook.com/karlalinn.merrifield.