salt spray

let me feel the spray
one more time,
the salt spray from a wave
breaking over the bow
i seek reconnection to the sea
the sea was me
i was the sea
the rest of the world didn’t exist
as my ship plowed through cresting waves
which threw it willy-nilly, up and down
to rise and plunge again
bringing green water crashing
to the pilot house
to slide down and aft and over the fantail
the metal groaned
did not give
the steam hissed, bellowing even,
shooting through the pipes
to the engine,
then the reduction gears,
turning the port and starboard shafts
the screws whacking the deep underneath,
propelling the ship as forward
as the sea would let her go
the men rode her
like a bronco with spume,
not brave, not fearful,
just matter of fact,
knowing they had little power
over the sea and the grey metal
on which they rode;
i do not know if
this dance of power
entranced the others
i was entranced
watching, feeling, even smelling
this battle between
the two ladies i had come to love
still love
but alas,
only in my memories
oh, how i wish
i could feel the spray,
the salt spray from a wave
breaking over the bow
one more time.


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