a day like all the rest, or so it seemed. brilliant
crimson dressed the oaks.
pale grey, the sky hung like bed curtains on a morning
when you wake, unsure
of where you are, disturbed by a dream that was
as vibrant and real as life itself,
bearing the hideous spectre of death.
on the Water. out where I feel at home. the waves
are rising, row after row
like the pews in St. Paul’s. at mass, the pastor said that
God is everywhere.
in these waves, in the black clouds, in the taconite hidden
in the hull, in you and
in me. in the storm.
Anderson, I should not have turned you away.
“we are holding our own.”
or so I said. I am a fool. the men I lead…these men and
their angelic wives,
the unwritten futures of their children, all the lights that
my ignorance has extinguished.
I am sorry.
the captain always stays fast with the ship,
but there was no way out,
so the crew are still manning their posts.
we were swallowed whole
by cold, cold Superior.
As anyone who knows me well can attest, I have a fascination with open water and with the ships that traverse it. This poem, which began in late 2006 and – after a long time on the shelf – was completed in early 2008, is about one such vessel’s unfortunate fate.