Two Rivers One Dream

The River Mersey
Was my childhood River.
I would ferry on
'Royal Daffodil'
To visit places
Far afield
Like Birkenhead,
Or even farther
On the bigger ships
To Ireland for a holiday.

While seagulls
Whooped and swooped,
The wind would take
My breath away.
I'd stand on deck
To watch the foamy churn
And anxious 'Liver Birds'
Awaiting my return.

I recently recalled
My childhood River,
As I steamed to Ellis Island
On a ferry not unlike
The 'Daffodil'.
My thoughts with those
Who went before,
From one great River
To the next, to find
New life, new hope
In 'Liberty's' great
Shelter, brought by
Life's vast ocean to
Safe harbour on
The Hudson River's shore.

But don't forget the ones
Who didn't reach the shore.
Who died on 'Coffin Ships',
Like hell on earth.
They braved so much
To suffer death away from
Home, away at sea
With babies in their arms,
In agony, in agony.

We must remember them.
And celebrate their bravery,
As they set out to sea
From 'Liver Birds' to 'Liberty',
Between the two with hope
Of being free, of being free.

By Kath Dodd