a note*

Everything I post here I have previously published on the many other blogs I have had. This is a place for my favourites to rest. These are the wings that taught me i could fly and that there is life waiting, far beyond the ridge.

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Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Voyage

We sailed the shit out of her,
didn't we, hon?

i remember when we first got her,
what a wreck!
Tommy laughed himself sick,
and said it'll never float
your grandma clung to that rosary like a kid
with the parades last tootsie roll
and your momma, well, she just rolled her eyes,
threw up her arms,
and said, "Lord God, Almighty!"

but hell, what else did we have to do?

We scraped her, caulked her, shined her
-hey! remember that July day,
when we were sanding the primer?
that cooler of cold beer and wine?
you chased me with that stick
after i tugged your shorts down,
and how you tackled me and
we wrestled in the long grass
til we laughed ourselves to tears?
and then we just lay there
looking into each other's eyes.

didn't get much done that day,
but the bunk finally got broke in proper

and then that day we launched her,
ha! we didn't have a clue
ran right into that shrimp boat
and scared those rowers half to death!
but the sun was warm, the breeze gentle
and we learned as we went.
sorry for all that yelling

she kept the water out most the time
and her keel ran true.
there was that summer in St. Thomas
that rough ride to Bermuda
the times we just let her be
and went where she took us
never tiring of each other's smile

and we knew a storm would come someday,
one we couldn't beat,
they always do
and sure as shit we wrecked her good
and why the fuck don't they make masts stronger anyway?

but wasn't it something,
watching the clouds off the stern
gather and gain
watching the waves grow
the breath of the deep
like the chest of a champion?

you went to fix that broken cleat
while i stripped the poles bare
and I swear, all I can remember
is how good your ass looked in them oil skins
I wanted to just let her go
just pick you up and carry you below
and love you once more
while the world crashed around us

but we had fear
and better sense, and
so we raced the deck
securing this and
tossing that
as the waves overtook the stern
and claimed our bare feet

I watched you at the stern
checking the rudder
while I held the wheel
and we turned at exactly the same time
and smiled to each other as
the generator died
taking our light
but not our smiles

you with snot running out of your nose
me in that goofy hat
i traded for in Martinique
when we were drunk on bad rum

when she started to list bad,
you fell into me,
we fell against the gunwale
and we sank down
holding each other
as the starboard disappeared

damn, we tried,
didn't we honey?
we saved nothing but ourselves and that
ratty old army coat
as we held hands, locked and laced,
and watched her go under

the others,
Tommy, your momma
and Grandma
will say
see, I told ya so!

but they told us nothin
it was never about how long we could keep her afloat
or how many places we could reach
it was just a voyage
for as long as a moment lasts
and that, we did well
to the very end.