The Jeanne Crandall Broulik Memorial Prize, Spring 2016
The sea has a way of defining people.
Salt water runs through us like blood.
We sweat and the ocean’s what seeps.
Learn to navigate and not just plot the course.
Find the way. Ignore the lighthouse.
Don’t put red to the right.
It means return—as in—go back.
The deep, fickle water offers more.
Suspect things that come up from behind you.
Sail into the wind. When you feel her breath
In your face you can tell what she’s up to.
Bear it on the nose.
Clench the tiller two‐handed.
Feel the hull of your ship heeled over.
Bash into the seas. Smile.
Vow to tack and jibe to face direct
The slap of ocean spray, impatient lover.
It will define you.