The Carpenter of Lampedusa

Crosses fashioned,
from wreckage re-found,
in Lampedusa’s graveyard
of boats:
Francisco Tuccio, carpenter,
(putting him up there
as a craftsman, tool-qualified,
and long-suffering, calloused,
like Christ’s forgotten step-dad).

Taking the drift-timber remnants,
tide piles of northerly-aimed
hope boats:
finding, with tools,
the ingrained sunk lives:
the salt-scour, gasoline foul,
sea stench,
drowning suffered,
in holy relics.

Muscat: we’re ..building a cemetery
(in)..our Mediterranean Sea:
the proud Maltese PM
tried to carve
his own response
to migrant drownings:
..this thing is broken..
needs to be fixed.

Tuccio, unelected, mends hope:
crosses of suffering
for all drowned,
he offers wave-crucified,
shipped timbers,
shaped to buoy
the migrant survivors.

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