On the Beach
Millions of unexploded bombs lie in waters off US coast, researchers say (Oct. 8, 2012)
Lurking (and leaking) beneath the world’s oceans are an estimated 200 million pounds of unexploded and potentially dangerous explosives—from bombs to missiles to mustard gas….at least 31 million pounds of bombs can be found not just in the Gulf, but also off the coasts of at least 16 states…
—Citizens for Legitimate Government website (Oct. 14, 2012)
Let’s take a little swim, my dear.
The ocean’s calm and blue.
There’s nothing anywhere to fear.
I’m told the sharks are few.
There’s not a hurricane in sight.
There hasn’t been a spill
of toxins since the other night.
And jellyfish can’t kill.
It’s true no lifeguards are around,
but, really, there’s no need.
Those needles littering the ground?
I’m sure, if we take heed,
We won’t get stuck, or, if we do,
small jabs are not the worst.
Come on! The ocean’s calm and blue.
I’m ready. You go first.
Bruce Bennett is Professor and Chair of English and Director of Creative Writing at Wells College in Aurora, New York. He was a cofounder and editor of Field and Ploughshares, and served as an editor at Judith Kitchen’s State Street Press. His reviews of contemporary poetry have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The Nation, Harvard Review, and elsewhere. He is the author of nine books of poetry and more than twenty poetry chapbooks, and was recently awarded a Pushcart Prize.