A Titanic Triad, by Kim Fahner
A Titanic Triad
(for Charlotte Collyer)
He left her without wanting to,
wallet in his trouser pockets,
on an April night when her world
sunk to the bottom of the Atlantic,
a boneyard of whale falls and
a White Star, so shattered.
He went down then, with his wallet in tow—
her all—on a night when ice split the ship
without warning. She lived, and Marjorie too.
He went down then, into the sea,
turning his head after seeing them set off,
and she watched the sinking from afar.
Afterwards, wrapped in a blanket,
her hands caught up in themselves
and still lost, she wondered at
how quickly the world had shifted--
that vessel upended, her life ruined,
sitting next to a child with haunted eyes.
Blessed with Bad Luck
(for Marjorie Collyer)
This poem is for the little girl
with the haunted eyes:
for the one who lost her youth
along with her father, and
who spent a lifetime running
from bad luck, and who believed
she was cursed until the day she died.
She was old enough to still feel
the pain in her shoulder, tossed
into a lifeboat and landing badly.
She was old enough to still hear
the sounds of the band playing
until it was swallowed up by the ocean.
She was young enough to know
that she’d lost her doll, that it had been
cast to the bottom with her father, bereft.
This is a poem for that girl,
the little one with the haunted eyes.
Anatomy of a Photograph—June 1912
It was taken in Payette, Idaho,
on a front porch swing. Proof of life.
Draped her with that White Star
blanket, certain of its provenance.
Her eyes drift, search for something
beyond the angle of frame or dimension.
Lose a husband, but keep a blanket,
and a daughter who can’t look away.
Kim Fahner lives and writes in Sudbury, Ontario. She was the fourth poet laureate of Greater Sudbury (2016-18). Her most recent book of poems is These Wings (Pedlar Press, 2019). Kim is a member of the League of Canadian Poets, a supporting member of the Playwrights' Guild of Canada, and is the Ontario representative for The Writers' Union of Canada (2020-22). She is currently at work on a new play. Kim may be reached via her author website at www.kimfahner.com
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