R.T. Castleberry: “Items from the Wreckage”


The chant sounded overhead 
is a rosary of wails 
pitched upon the sea.
Feasting days are over.
As bodies, like incantations,
return as denial, as disbelief,
there is a need between us
to act the abandoned child.
We must appear as 
orphans of mothers, of fathers
who could not see us
except at drink or night brutality.

I have spoken to your fears
as best I could;
taken and turned what I know
to some attempt at service.
It is never enough. 
I must seem a fool
to attempt a patch upon a 
part that slips daily, grinding 
ever finer, ever closer.

Feasting days are finished.
And we are left consoling
our fathers, our mothers weeping 
in raging lines along the shore.
We must take the unkind step to
leave them to their grieving.
You and I must learn a new answer,
another offering to the tides.
In movement, past regret,
past unspent days and seasons,
we will lay claim to our own lives.

About the Author: R.T. Castleberry, a Pushcart Prize nominee, has work in Steam TicketVita BrevisAs It Ought To BeTrajectorySilk RoadStepAway, and The River.  Internationally, he’s had poetry published in Canada, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, France, New Zealand, Portugal, India, the Philippines and Antarctica. His poetry has appeared in the anthologies: Travois-An Anthology of Texas PoetryTimeSliceAnthem: A Tribute to Leonard Cohen, and Level Land: Poetry For and About the I35 Corridor. He lives and writes in Houston, Texas.

Image Credit: Chase Dimock “Flywheel, Oatman” (2023)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s