by Sean Patrick Hill
Who is the third who always walks beside you?
The ship itself was splinters, and the shore
Littered with the bones of sea birds and dogs.
They named their camp Patience, where they waited
Four months beside the open water’s edge
Where Shackleton launched his dinghy and left
Twenty-two men at the extremity
Of their strength—Elephant Island. At night
They slept beneath the overturned boats, while
Shackleton crossed the glacial maze on South
Georgia Island, screws through his boots. Having
Pierced the veneer of outside things, having
Grown bigger in the bigness of the whole,
The men, counting themselves, kept adding one—
The glory, the text, the naked soul of man.