A Poem Before Holland


I travel to Holland
on wings of a childhood story
silver skates and finger in a dike

To lands wrestled from an angry sea
a sea that dearly wants them back

Unceasing vigilance to keep the prize
a dark line drawn across their eyes

I see windmills chop the salt wet air
Art and flowers leaping up in faith
behind thin walls

Back to the little boy and the dike again
legal drugs and red lights in the rain

These are a fair and sturdy people
I like them now, and I like how

In a land where children must
so often act as men

They do not pass acts that treat
their men as children