Margaret Atwood
Death of a Young Son by Drowning (1970)

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He, who navigated with success

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the dangerous river of his own birth

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once more set forth

 

 

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on a voyage of discovery

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into the land I floated on

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but could not touch to claim.

 

 

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His feet slid on the bank,

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the currents took him;

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he swirled with ice and trees in the swollen water

 

 

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and plunged into distant regions,

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his head a bathysphere;

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through his eyes' thin glass bubbles

 

 

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he looked out, reckless adventurer

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on a landscape stranger than Uranus

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we have all been to and some remember.

 

 

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There was an accident; the air locked,

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he was hung in the river like a heart.

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They retrieved the swamped body,

 

 

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cairn of my plans and future charts,

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with poles and hooks

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from among the nudging logs.

 

 

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It was spring, the sun kept shining, the new grass

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leapt to solidity;

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my hands glistened with details.

 

 

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After the long trip I was tired of waves.

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My foot hit a rock. The dreamed sails

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collapsed, ragged.

 

 

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I planted him in this country

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like a flag.