He, too, has risked his life at sea –
Climbing up the slippery steel grey sides
Of ships larger than village squares,
Angry white waves nipping at his heels
Chasing him up onto rain washed decks,
While strapping winds whip overhead.
Yet, unlike his African ancestors
Huddled helpless in dark holds,
He stands up high at the helm
With clear views of what’s ahead,
Piloting goods from afar into port –
Captain of his own destiny.
I wrote this for my brother-in-law who was one of the first African American Maritime