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December 4, 2023

Beard Of A Sea Captain

I look in the mirror that is peeling away with age
and see I’m peeling away too with age

journey to dry dock in sight of my telescope 

growing a sea captain’s beard, mostly gray

one that says “I’m a salty and wise old beard”

with the wisdom of ocean slapped sea mist

having washed through it hundreds

no, thousands of times

Atlantic, Pacific, Gulf of Mexico 

the treacherous North Sea

where sad ships go to die

lying in coffins a thousand fathoms deep

below the cold, windswept couldn’t care less waters

that have no love for anyone 

let alone a raggy seaman smelling of rum and rope

I have no ship to pilot these days

red sky at night no longer matters

my going to sea days have gone to hell

I only have the shipwrecked years

left to navigate through murky uncertain waters