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No man the island that a woman is,
Eroded from a sometime lying shore:
Her latchkey broken at the mainland door
She wades out deep, isolate, antithesis
Of continents, lost to the last isthmus.
Her Panamanian children splash, ignore
Low voices in the surf to scoop and pour
By hand an ebb and flow analysis
Of model oceans rocking in a box.
On the rim of an old caldera bay
They beach their boats between a pair of docks,
Her outstretched arms. She scrubs their hulls, mends sail,
And fills the barrels from her hardtack stores;
They take their leave, embarking for the Azores.

The Image archive is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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