Robert Detman


On wobbly seas a ferry plies the dark
toward a destination ravaged by floods

twenty years ago and prices have gone
up due to inflation and someone has lost

their keys and no one thinks about the ferry
while on board a girl is travelling

alone who wanders to different areas
of the boat to make the journey more

bearable as she scans the horizon
for familiar landmarks and another

person on board says of the weather
“I’ve seen worse” which is comforting

to exactly no one and thousands
of miles away a family crowds

onto a rubber boat where the waters
are calm and sun is a white hot ball

in the unctuous haze and they are thirsty
and famished and have no idea where

they are going only that they had to escape
their home country deranged by civil war

and the unspeakable and the person that
lost their keys also needs gas and does

not notice the light of the ferry so takes it
for granted as a curious beacon that they

only notice when they are looking straight
at it and to an outsider the day could be

night or early morning but they do not
know and it really does not matter.


Robert Detman has published fiction, poetry, and essays in over fifty publications, including Antioch Review, Causeway Lit, New Orleans Review, The Smart Set, The Southampton Review, Tusculum Review and elsewhere. His stories have been finalists for the New Letters Literary Awards and nominated for the Best of the Net, and a story collection was a semifinalist for the Hudson Prize from Black Lawrence Press.



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