Litkicks Message Board Archive

I am on the cusp of something

Posted to Poetry

One time when I was 20
I was employed as a sailor,
a ship was headed east
into the chinese sea.
I laid my hat on straight,
brought my collar up to check,
and kicked around at the dock to board.
I could just taste the sea sweat
hanging in the air,
and feel its roar strangle
the wood beneath my feet.
The ship bellowed and
I answered out of luck.

There were 200 of us aboard
that night.
By the time we reached China
only 58 could see.
Illnesses, loss, fear and death
rode with us like rats
with grateful teeth.
Smiles, for the camera
for the surf
for the job,
hold the bar lads,
look at where we are.