Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Captain's Last Trip

Darkness wraps the laker on this cold November night

No ripples tell the tale of the power and the might

Cutting through the blackness shines the twinkling diamond light

Of a billion starry sentinels to guide a sailor's sight.

On the bridge, the seasoned captain guides his massive ship

And remembers all the starry nights and many a silent trip

In his hands he holds his tea and slowly takes a sip

And quietly says a mariners prayer against Novembers whip

Somehow this night's a fitting trip for this tired and worn old man

Whose face is lined with wrinkles and deeply chestnut tan

The time has come to keep his sealegs on the land

And watch the little children make castles in the sand

He's seen his share of silent nights and the cruel November witch

Remembering his heartbreak the night they lost the Fitz

How his old girl had struggled with the roll and pitch

He brought her into port that night and slipped her in her niche

Before the crew had settled down to take a needed rest

They fired her up and pulled her out to face their biggest test

She rumbled with power and swung around and headed to the west

To join the powerful ladies on their desperate quest

Although he's old and tired and his bones do deeply ache

He'll miss his walk around the deck and gazing at her wake

A fleeting mark that briefly cuts the silence of the Great lake

And he sheds a silent tear for the last trip he will take

c. 1999 Carolyn Duprey

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