Mother Standing in the Atlantic

By Eben E. B. Bein

Featured Art: First and Never-ending Painting by Connaught Cullen

Once the ferry to Provincetown
cleared the neck, the headlands
decorated with lighthouses,
and it whipped along at some
impressive number of knots—
I do not know how much
speed is in a knot but
let’s just say she carried me
at a spate of knots—
toward some dark shape
in the middle of the ocean
no island to be seen,
it finally resolved:
a lighthouse
standing alone in the roil
searching the ocean
on her one long and rusted leg.

I had assumed all lighthouses
were mothers
come to call their children in,
leaning on their rocky fences,
getting cold, muttering
It’s an island—how far
could they possibly get?

Far. And who would
keep looking. I do not know
what kind of hope
I’m allowed.

Eben (he/they) is a high-school-biology-teacher-turned-climate-justice-educator educator at the nonprofit Our Climate. He was a 2022 Fellow for the “WritingXWriters Workshop” and has published with Fugue Literary, Columbia Review, Passengers Journal and the like. Their first chapbook “Character Flaws” is forthcoming from Fauxmoir Lit. He lives on Pawtucket land (Cambridge, MA) with some ivy plants that are not dead because his husband remembers to water them. FB/T/IG

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