One Prolonged Blast (for Grammy)

by Stephen

4 to 6 second pull on the ship’s whistle
Announces to others in the harbor
The romance of sea:

“Underway! Shift colors”

The Ensign now flaps from the mast.
Jack folded into a tight triangle
Stowed away until:

“Moored! shift colors.”

Engines, rudder, tugs: controllable forces
Overcome uncontrolled winds and currents –
We lift from the pier into Boston Harbor.

The track followed past monuments,
The other side of the Freedom Trail,
Logan Airport, the haunts of Poe.

He thinks again,
“I will never wash the red dust of Fenway
From my white shoes.”

Into Cape Cod Bay,
He heads below
To check news from ashore

Not expecting this:
“Her suffering has come to an end, Son.
We were blessed with her 100 years.”

He chokes on his tears:
Can a ship’s Captain cry?
Returns topside to breathe.

Protected Right Whales,
Surface in every direction –
Then dive –

The last one
Raises its fin as if to say,
“Goodbye.”

One Prolonged Blast (For Grammy)

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