Last Tack

On the last tack I find myself
On the low side of the boat.
A day of great luminosity,
High winds and lumpy waves,
Sprays of pearls,
Rivulets of silver running to bilges;
The gunwale now under water,
The deck,
Climbing-wall steep.

And I climb.
Enthralled by the great green waves
And terrified.

When Dad would punish me,
I still saw beauty In his clear blue eyes.

And there he is now,
Captain Ahab
Of our howling ketch,
And having climbed the deck,
Secured myself at a stay,
I turn to see my brother
On the low side still
Awash
On the brink of the heaving
Jade abyss
And as the hull slams down
Even harder this time
And we’re engulfed
In a spray of tears
My father curses
And turns
Into the wind.

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