|Jan/Feb 2006 Poetry|
Fettered to benches where the oars had long ago been broken off, they had no choice but to row with their hands. As they strained toward the water below, the chains cut welts in their arms, and the brine inflamed their flesh.
But in time their arms became elongated, and their sores were healed by the sea. Some rowed backward, some rowed forward, some merely threshed the waves. Always they struggled, new and old oarsmen alike, and the galley sailed on like a graceful swan.