Prayer from a Lifeboat by

I haul him aboard, administer CPR, watch him vomit over the lifeboat floor. Another one who didn’t understand riptides. At least he had a lifejacket.

Paramedics will take over when we reach the shore. A slap of brine wakes him into a different life.

Succumbing to the sea’s power does that. Makes you an island. Leaves loved ones baffled so they isolate you further. My father did that.

Tomorrow I’ll take a coffee, sit under the lighthouse at sunset and hope my night remains as blank as the sun. A signal that it will be OK. And I can sleep.



Emma Lee’s publications include “The Significance of a Dress” (Arachne, 2020) and “Ghosts in the Desert” (IDP, 2015). She co-edited “Over Land, Over Sea,” (Five Leaves, 2015), is Poetry Reviews Editor for The Blue Nib, reviews for magazines and blogs at



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