Respite From the Wash

They sight a rare north-easter

The ship will roll and mourn

And quite a ways

And several days

Afore we reach the Horn.

The blast compels us ice-ward

The rigging all a-sheen

We hope for west

And do our best

With chop we’ve never seen.

And two days back we lost one

In seconds he was gone

The wash was coy

It grabbed the boy

And this his thirteenth run.

At first light sometimes quiet

And Captain reads us Psalms

A special hour

We sense God’s power

He whips up and He calms.

This evening all exhausted

And in my bunk a whiles

And Danny sits across from me

And slaps my knee and smiles:

“Your three percent is waiting

Once we collect the loot

In warmer seas

Bright birds in trees.

And roasted pig to boot.”

It’s good to feel the promise

That beats this awful chill

And soothes the ache

In friendship’s wake.

And re-creates the will.

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