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The Sea-Cook's Lover, Part I

A young woman named Meredith
took a cook’s job on a great ship,
raven-haired and dark of eyes,
she stood slender as a whip.

For five years she traveled wide
across the ocean’s of the world,
seeing so many exotic places,
an exciting life for any girl.

Now Meredith, she was no prude,
she had the run of the ship,
and when it came to the crew
she always had her pick…

Then one trip she met a man,
who meant more than a little fun,
they spent many long months together,
she knew that he was the one.

The sailor, he felt much the same,
and they started making plans,
Meredith would have a restaurant,
the sailor would be the barman.

But there was a minor hitch
when it came to their contracts,
the sailor had signed for another year
after which he would come back.

Meredith settled in Providence,
bought an old diner by the quays,
spent money saved over the years,
fixing it up in the right way.

After six months she opened it,
serving good food with no fuss,
the locals came to love the place,
she called it ‘The Wailing Walrus.’

And for the first few months at least
it seemed to play out smooth,
then on a bright, October day
she turned on the network news.

It told of a container ship
that had just gone down,
swamped by a giant, rogue wave,
all crew aboard had drowned.

Meredith fell to the restaurant floor
and screamed out in agony,
her fiancé had been onboard the ship,
their life together would never be…

I met Meredith forty years
after that most tragic of days,
I worked a fishing boat that docked
near the Wailing Walrus’s quay.

We’d all go in after a long trip,
it was a great place to unwind,
Meredith’s chowder was renowned,
both the New York and New England kind...

We’d toss back beers and carouse,
as men like us are wont to do,
I never passed up the chance
for a bowl of her lamb stew.

Behind the bar a photo hung,
framed up in clean plexi-glass,
showing a man, quite tall and young,
dressed from a time long past.


Copyright © | Year Posted 2018

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