Poem Written after Reading a Poem with a Boat in It

Dew settles on the hood of my car
as if it were a boat in a Chinese poem

whose owner suffers death by water.
Morning’s burdens are displaced by those
of afternoon, and who knows what

evening’s keeping: maybe I’ll stroll
the square where on Saturday vandals

fastened shoelaces to the statue of our town
hero, causing him to weep two long,
black tears. My son returns from school,

strapped into his backpack. His posture
warps beneath all the names

of birds and far-off capitals he’s had
to learn to be able to move on to the next
grade, the next phase, a place where

the world swells then stagnates, a reflection
gone on too long. The mist of the past
week’s rain sits heavy in my hair,

raindrops on puddles like minnows
nibbling air above still water.

Sarah J. Sloat grew up in New Jersey and now lives in Germany, where she works in Weltschmerz. She has published two chapbooks with Dancing Girl Press, “Excuse me while I wring this long swim out of my hair” and “Inksuite.” Another chapbook, “Homebodies,” is available from Hyacinth Girl Press.