- Like a Dream
In patches of sunlight, they rise through the green water like small clouds or hang suspended a few feet below the surface like a dream being remembered—
manatees, so calmly slow and bovine, they seem lobotomized by the engines of our hurry as we race above them, their bodies bearing the marks of our impatience.
Have they made some placid truce with our noisy world above them, unable to do more than what they do?—rise to the surface, their buoyant peace
a kind of offering and sacrifice, a story to be told thousands of years from now on some cathedral wall—of creatures that passed beneath us, at rest in their movement,
then disappeared from our world, never needing anything from us, their peace only able to bear us so far. even if we always wanted to believe in it, [End Page 292]
Robert Cording is the Barrett Professor of Creative Writing at Holy Cross University. He has published six collections of poems, including Life-list (Ohio State University Press, 1988), which won the Ohio State University Press/Journal award, and Walking With Ruskin (CavanKerry, 2010) which was runner-up for the Poets’ Prize. His poems have appeared in numerous publications including Nation, Georgia Review, Hudson, Southern Reviews, Poetry, Kenyon and New England Reviews, Orion, and The New Yorker.firstname.lastname@example.org