The Captain's Tale
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I stood aboard the ancient ship that long outlived her crew,
and proudly, I made good, a vow to make her sail like new.
She reefed ashore so long ago with no identity,
and fell prey to a host of tales about her “entity”.
When rifling through a box one day, I found 'neath lock and key,
the Captain's log, reporting how the crew was lost at sea.
A memoir in the Captain's hand was entered in the log.
His final-yet-coherent words described a blinding fog.
They weathered until morning when the fog had finally cleared.
The Captain was in shock to find the crew had disappeared.
I heard their voices echoing in distant, ghastly cries;
then suddenly, appeared a specter right before my eyes.
There stood the figure of a man obscured by fading light.
Not standing firmly on the deck, he was a ghostly sight!
His deep-set eyes with bushy brows and long, gray scraggly beard,
a ruddy face and bullish stance that sailors must have feared.
“What brings you here, aboard my ship?”, demanding in protest.
“I'm here to send you on your way to put your souls to rest!”
“The lighthouse beam went dark too soon and blinded you from shore;
your aimless boat was run aground and sailed the sea no more!”
“According to the log, it's been one-hundred years, to date;
I've fixed her and it's time to flee the bondage of your fate!”
“Tonight I'll put you on your way before it is too late.”
“You must have spent the century in search of Heaven's Gate.”
That night, returned the fog and rain that pulled the ship to sea.
The crew emerged, the Captain yelled, “Our souls are finally free!”
Somewhere aboard the fading boat was heard the distant quip,
the Captain's voice, who roared in boast, “I never left my ship!”
Copyright © William Tatum | Year Posted 2020
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