Dogs 2012

SHALLOW WATER SAILOR
(1/10/12)


"I'm going
to do
the decks"

I said

"what?"

she asked

"clean
the floors"

I meant
clean
the floors

over 20
years
removed
from the Coast
Guard
and Nautical
Ned
unexpectedly
pokes his head
through the
hatch

passageway
bulkhead
overhead

I wasn't
even
in the "real"
Coast Guard

Cape May
Attu
Governor's Island
Narrow Cape

my only
sea time
was the Staten
Island Ferry
and an occasional
41 footer
out of Ketchikan
when the float planes
were grounded
due to weather

Baudette
Shoal Cove
Port Clarence
Caribou

but
eight years
of indoctrination
have left
their mark

galley
quarter deck
bosun's hole

I still have
several service
dreams
each year

alarms
flashing lights
incomprehensible
messages
and readings

confused
in my sleep
wondering

"how in the
Hell
did I sign up
for four
more?"

muster
watch
liberty

but
I awake
in Tulsa
no ocean
or uniforms
in sight

mostly
relieved

sometimes
wishing
for the smell
of the sea
and sound
of the surf
to once again
greet
my mornings

UCMJ
Articles 91 & 108
DD214

or maybe
not