All Ship Travel is Traumatic

A few weeks ago, I went on a cruise with my mother. One day during lunch, I was filled with a intense desire to write. I felt overwhelmed as though memories that were not my own began to flood my mind. Below is the poem I wrote that day.

All Ship Travel is Traumatic

There is a man ringing a bell.

There is a man ringing a bell.

The ship is moving.

The ship is moving.

Can’t you hear the high pitched rings resonating through the atmosphere?

The man ringing the bell shouts “Ice cream” “ice cream”

The boat is still moving.

The man’s heavy accent morphs “ice cream” into “I scream” “I’m free”

The boat is still moving, fast

and I’m sea sick

I’m sea sick.

I am a willing passenger of this boat,


Allowed to roam freely but why do I feel trapped?

As though the memories of my ancestors are now flooding my brain, triggered by the bell and the man’s thick accent.

I feel chained,


Feet heavy like lead,

I’m stuck to my seat.

The boat is still moving.

Is this the route my ancestors unwillingly took, tricked, trapped, shackled.

And here I am, enjoying the sun and sea and “I’m free” “I scream” “ice cream”

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