The Arctic Tern’s Prayer

by Mary Anne Clarke

Tell the air to hold me in the rushing heart of it
And keep its paths straight
Away from home let there be a land that
Flows with fish and flies
And let it taste like it tasted at home
Home take this salty scent of home from my head
Cut away the memory of its last ultraviolet
Flash beautiful beneath me
Don’t turn me to a twist of salt to fall to
Sea’s saltiness if I look back at my home
Let me look back just once let me
Look back