AS I SAILED
Finlay the poet was born on a schooner
(His dad ran rum in the dry Bermoothes)
He was my friend for a brief, brief while-
The sundial that he made for us
Has its gnomon shaped like a bending sail.
What I wrote him was preachy. He never wrote back.
No loss of friendship hurt me as much
Till Snakey ditched us, our very best friend-
Our all but daughter.
The wind fills the sail.
It fills it with nothing, with nothing but force
White bellied sail like cumulus-
Like a girl near term.
Is singing of Kidd, most famous of pirates.
He burned and he robbed and he murdered he says
As I sailed, as I sailed.
As if in a dream, in a dream of sailing.
The sails go up river. The sails go down river-
War ship and lighter and pleasure craft-
Past Kidd in his cage on the gibbet at Wapping.
She stamps as she sings and it brings her to tears.