On the dock where the sea rings deep and blue,
I watch the ships float to the moon as I too,
become one with the night. I count them
off my fingers, hum prayers my tongue
cannot understand, row my feet to the
tune of a new national anthem
as each falls into the black horizon.
My mother watches my head nod
in counts of two, watches my
eyes follow the steady blue
that ripples at each ship’s drop.
She tells me that I am like them
in every way: iron-clad, ruled
by an anchor molded by
gaunt hands, seafaring in spirit.
She says I tend to stretch myself
in the face of moonlight, and it is then
when I see my reflection pulled taut in the sea,
like the Lady at the world’s edge whose fire
lightens the star-spangled sky behind her.
Changu Chiimbwe is a senior at North Rockland High School in Theills, New York. Her work has been regionally recognized by the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, nominated for an American Voices medal, and has appeared in The Rising Phoenix Review. Born in Kitwe, Zambia, and coming to the United States at the age of five, she writes poetry to honor the immigrant experience.