Passenger Manifest

If Only is a ship I sail,

a caravel, a barque.

For rags she has felicity,

her hull is acorn cap.


If Only swamps in any wind.

The voyage starts anew,

I set the teacup on the waves

and muddle through my day.


I moor If Only with a thread

so rotted and so thin

that often am I drifting free

across the Someday When.


The Someday When’s a bitter lake,

where porpoises cavort,

they pump their flukes beneath her bow,

If Only’s such a flirt.


The shape of hull, the grace of plunge,

the waves of Someday When;

At twelve o’clock we leave the beach;

If Only and her tender, Then.

David Epstein is having a good year: he was awarded prizes from Arc Poetry Magazine,  from CV2, and from The Connecticut Poetry Society.   He holds a Ph.D. in English and American Literature.  David is on the Board of the Greater Hartford Friends and Enemies of Wallace Stevens.  He has three children, and lives in West Hartford, Connecticut, and thrives in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. He has reviewed for Harvard Review and Shofar, as well as recent reviews for Tupelo Press appearing in Heavy Feather and elsewhere; his poems have appeared in such venues as The Bellingham Review (where he was a Featured Poet), Authora Australis, Marsh Hawk Review, and in the July, 2021 Issue of New Square. He can be found on Twitter: @batpoetdavid   and has an anemic website: davidaepsteinpoetry.com  

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