In gratitude for Greek generosity

I don’t know how
much water these cupped
hands can carry, bailing
the rising, unrelenting
waves that are endless,
though we see shore, rocky,
with foreign faces
calling, keep on, keep on!

We didn’t know where
war would lead us—
so many languages,
not being able to swim
(though tempted to risk
sun, moon, and arms),
you think we are desperate
(we are), we have no skill,
no one to back us, no money
or lost relatives, it is
a floating jail we call now
for salvation without
memory or mercy.

Here we are, half-deep
in sea, feet bare, I can see
shore—faces and blankets
and high rocks behind.

My feet tear on the ocean-bed,
I feel the pull backward
against my legs, my whole
body. But now there is
no fence, no rubble, no bursting
ears, no blood, five fingers
still on each hand,
head pasted with sweat,
I am soaked through
but safe, scraping these
eyes toward a new earth.

Envision me with wings.