the old mariner stepped cautiously,
a cane steadying his step,
toward the dilapidated wood pier
small dinghy at the head of the pier,
he wouldn’t board the dinghy today,
not today,
for the sea had chosen to be
belligerent and gray
with the wind whipping up
the spume of white caps:
too rough for old men
to row a shabby dinghy
out for a mile and then back,
which was his custom.

the old mariner sighed,
settling for listening to the sea
speak to him
as she had done
for what seemed like centuries
after­ she, the enchantress,
called him on a calm night,
using the full moon’s path
to him while he stood
at the rail port amidships,
the moon calling him like Circe’s sirens,
she, the enchantress, touched him,
gripping him deep inside
he fell in love.

little did the old mariner realize
until now
she would possess him
until the end of time
others he held close
would recognize
she possessed him,
assume he didn’t care,
leave him alone,
as alone as he was,
on this blustery sea day
looking out
at his angry, jealous enchantress.

the old mariner turned from her,
walking away,
carefully placing his cane for the next step
to his shanty on the nearby beach
where he would place the logs
in the hearth,
light the fire
to sit by
the next day
when he would row out
on the dinghy
speak to his enchantress

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