My sheep wandered, yea, my flock was
scattered upon the face of the earth….

-Ezekiel 34: 6


I ran away young,
canal at the end of the street,
floated past locks to the river
in a leaky ship.

Cold sea voyage, journeyed stowaway
with sick, plagued hiders
rogues, storm-riders
and starved

Found red-headed relatives
brother swallowed by drink
sister by waves in a foreign city
drowned. In empty ports
my dark decades rolled
kelp-whipped days frayed to thread
grey names, faces thin.

I remembered childhood
longed for lost light
through cloud
traveled back steerage
seaweed slow against the surge.

Survived the crossing
of a bird of paradise
eyes glowing gold
down the wall
years of light
leading me home.