for a foster child
             

                 
The slightest wrong move
could mean tidal waves.
Certain disaster
to a boy with everything resting
on delicate tissue – a bruised knee
to which you command a corps
of plastic ships – an austere
but (you promise) heavenly beach
where men may lie down
in soft sand, a tiny fold
in your thigh; write letters
and find oranges to eat; plan
the next battle.  Hard
that you know so much
about these distances
from home. A trumpet blast!
You steam your mission out.
Predictably bad weather
and still another perilous gorge
of falls and fleshy islands.
The search resumes
for citrus or, at least,
friendly harbor.
I wish you both --
and not another tour
of calculations
tossed or unchartered,
and not this
shadowy map
on water.

Copyright © 2014  M. B. McLatchey. All rights reserved.
Naugatuck River Review's 6th Annual Narrative Poetry Contest Semi-Finalist.
Published in
Naugatuck River Review, November 2014.
The Bath