Lynch Park Sail Boats
Artwork by Erin McGee Copyright 2006

Queen of Carthage

I want to tell you: The last thing that I saw
(Before my plane dissolved into the sky
And all the islands looked as though the sea
Had swallowed them) was your small yellow boat—
Like Dido who cried out and lit the pyre
When poor Aeneas' ships moved out of sight,
Their borrowed sails the color of sunset,
The sea around them heaving as with grief,
And starlight blossoming, and no relief.

But really, it was nothing like that.
Neither epic nor quite so lyrical.
Perhaps you looked one moment toward the sun,
imagining my hair come loose, undone.
The boat rose on the waves and softly fell,
and rocked from side to side, sweet as a bell.

Melissa Lambert works as a child abuse prevention specialist during the day and a freelance writer and translator in spare moments. Although she currently lives in landlocked Utah, many of her poems have been born, like this one, near the ocean.

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