Twenty-Two Hundred

i have written, probably ad nauseam for most of you, of  how the sea captivated me on my third class midshipman cruise in 1963. Last night, in my continuous and fruitless effort to organize and reduce the piles of paperwork in my home office, i found the below: a poem i had written soon after that experience while still aboard the USS Lloyd  Thomas (DD 764).

twenty-two hundred

twenty-two hundred,
the destroyer was running dark:
moonless night, blankets of stars covering
the black of the heavens;
wind strafed the 01 weather deck,
caressing my face with her warm, soft arms;
sailors had hit their racks;
i tarried at the lifelines, port side,
for why? i don’t know;
i was utterly alone amidships
on a grey warrior,
herself so purely alone on the boundless sea;
perhaps my vigil beyond taps
was just a whim of mine;
something
held me aloft
until
the sea spoke to me,
taking a part of my heart
away
with her.

The Atlantic
Summer, 1983

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.