Ghost Crowd at the Visitors’ Center

Spectacle Island, Boston Harbor


manes flowing, galloping hooves
sweat snort whinny bray
here, after lives of work
they were rendered
limb from sinew
hair and skin
in vats and steam
distilled to liquids, white
sent back to bind and cleanse
the city

thin gowns
over bones
specks of blood
sailing on fever beds
as they did across the bay
of child mother friend
left safe behind

burning a decade
methane fuel of our refuse
our swollen waste
smoldering to air
and leaching to sea
while land-streets shine
each morning clean

solacing, burying
barge after barge
mounting as
travelers breathe, fly
through tunnels of green-covered

watching all
just a few
people of the first light
by our beacon on a hill


grass smooths the drumlin
where my girls run
pigtails flip flops
come on let’s go mom
it’s so boring

ferry’s wake
churns my reflection
on what you see and
what you don’t
and on the island
no man is

Kimberly Gladman Jackson is the author of Materfamilias (Tandeta Books, 2018) and Tesseract (Finishing Line Press, 2016).
You can connect with her on her website.

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