poets I’m reading: Drowning by Josephine Miles

The elements in the second stanza of this piece by American poet Josephine Miles intrigue me. Metaphors galore!

Drowning – Josephine Miles

When you swim in the sea off Seal Rocks, and your family

Sits in the sand,

Eating potato salad, and the undertow comes

Which takes you out away down

To loss of breath loss of play and the power of play

Holler, say

Help, help, help. Hello they will say,

Come back here for some potato salad.


It is then that a seventeen-year-old cub

Cruising in a helicopter from Antigua,

A jackstraw expert speaking only Swedish

And remote from this area as a camel, says

Look down there, there is somebody drowning.

And it is you. You say yes, yes,

And he throws you a line.

This is what is called the brotherhood of man.

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