Rabidly fleeing our wedding ceremony,
we took to the seas.
It was our honeymoon,
and the last night I stood alone on the ship’s bow
and imagined seas of the 1600’s
when Blackbeard ruled
the Bahaman waters.
I saw Spanish clippers
emerging like ghosts on the horizon,
sails of blank pages from a book
waiting to be written in cannon fire.
But, surely, there must’ve been a time, early on—
before he tied delicate red ribbons to his face
and lit slow burning fuses—
when bloodshed was hard to reconcile
with the “Letter of Marque.”
A dozen souls poised on a ship’s mast
as it slipped into darkness.
Maybe his heart sank a little
with each watery death,
until, eventually, it simply floated—
a buoy of warning to the world.
The moon slips behind a cloud,
and I’m sure I hear scores beneath me
tapping gold coins together,
“Step lightly, Pirate. Regret weighs more down here.”
written: unknown – likely 2004 – 2005