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Sailors from shipwrecks, 

so they won’t drown, 

find first land and sometimes

are marooned, 

often with no hope of return

to homeland.

It happens to refugees too.

A generation or two later,


offspring call the new land


and cannot imagine

returning to the Ukraine

or to the Sudan.

What maroons us?

Is it only

lost culture or language,

maybe sometimes status


But don’t you know people

who have always lived

where they were born

and are still marooned?

At the core, what maroons us?

Is it a sense of separation,

of isolation,

of an inability to adapt,

to meet and accord

with circumstances?

Are we each marooned

on a lonely island of self?

What if there are no islands,

if what seem to be 

fixed, self-contained 

places cut off

are in fact

whirlpools and eddys

of ocean currents

shifting, changing,

connecting all?

What if

there’s no one

and nowhere

to be marooned,

those who feel marooned

even so expressing

ocean flows?

Some, getting this,

jump away from islands

and lo! they do not drown.


cast away in the vast sea,

find for the first time

they can breathe.


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