Witnesses at the Ocean

by Sarah Rohrs

Ocean and sky, photo by Joseph Barrientos
Photo by Joseph Barrientos@Unsplash

Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty. - Mahatma Gandhi

The witnesses came forward flecked with bits of dirt, holding sheets of paper scrawled with words like something that might make up a prayer wheel. Coraline saw the homeless woman give birth on the sidewalk, and the paramedics come and take the bloodied bundle away. Jim watched the ragged man step in front of a cop and wave a toy gun. Frank watched a stooped figure kneel in the snow and saw the holes in his shoes. They brought their papers forward to the panel of judges and testified to the drops of blood they saw in the tides of people flowing down the streets and into parking lots. It’s in the eyes, hands and mouths, they said. I remember how I trembled in the wind when I saw the tide had gone out from the edge of the frontier. It kept on rolling, stirring up the sun and dust.

Sarah Rohrs

Sarah Rohrs is a former newspaper reporter and drunk, who now teaches children to read and write while listening closely to their endless chatter. She takes photos, loves trees, pines for other times and places, and has written poetry for eons.


2024-Mar-01 00:28

This piece, vivid and enigmatic, causes me to reflect upon both our desire to bring testament, and the unwillingness of some to hear, or heed it. Thanks Sarah. Nicely done.