Jack Little



For Lucy

They put me out to sea, following the students
on their dinghies. Other adults bark orders
about unfamiliar ropes and sails.

Some kids dangle their fingers overboard,
the bravest allowing their boats to take them
towards a pointed rock on the half-horizon.

Some have tears encrusted around their eyes
borne from last night’s fear of this moment.

I sense their excitement as a dolphin
noses sadly beside our boat,
his tail not leaving the water’s protection.

I remember, all those years ago, when our own boat sank,
of the dull throb of shame when your dad sailed out to save us,
the neighbours laughing as they watched through their binoculars
from their bungalows on the loch’s edge-

today’s students are afraid of drowning
and one dolphin remains lost in his dance.




Jack Little (b. 1987) is a British-Mexican poet, editor and translator based in Mexico City. He is the author of Elsewhere (Eyewear, 2015) and is the founding editor of The Ofi Press. He was the poet in residence at The Heinrich Böll Cottage on Achill Island in the west of Ireland in July 2016. @JLittleMexico

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