The day we left, the sea was calm.
My sister said the water was too dirty to drink
and she wanted to go find her husband.
My friend had a compass and he could help row.
We had to take our mothers,
and my grandparents
couldn’t survive alone.
My wife’s brother had lost everything
so they had to come too.
All we had was each other.
16 in my rowboat 
and it was getting dark
and the babies were crying.
My dog got scared and ran away.
I told myself he was safer on land.
It was night when we left the skeleton of the dock.

…to be continued…