A May Flower
Dorothy May Bradford drowned in Provincetown Harbor
while the Mayflower was at mooring, December 7, 1620.
In green-shot bays my sweetheart sleeps;
She pierced the shadow of the boat
And disappeared—still I must keep
My courage safe from fear she floats
With staring eyes into the deeps
Where liquid devils jeer and gloat.
Did sharp-fanged woods spur Dorothy
To drink up death? No way to gloss
Over trials, nowhere to flee…
Her heart could augur only loss.
Whoever thought the changing sea
Would alter crossing into cross?
We pilgrims in the wilderness
Must curb our fancy’s imps and ghosts—
A penitent, I here confess
To glimpsing her along the coast:
I meant to say, God’s peace and rest,
But words fall dead when wanted most.