by Ames K. Swartsfager
She lay there naked,
her bunting bundled and neatly tied.
in her reflection on the still waters
she looks lithe and youthful.
what a beautiful and loyal mistress.
she has intervened and kept me from all harm
I lift my head and look at her supine image
she is no longer a youth.
her wrinkles cannot be concealed by
a coat of makeup paint.
the great times we shared
lying together in the night
under the stars...
But now...now she's old
more like a strumpet...used up.
yet she beckons me come near
but I am too ill...done in.
Unable to stroke her rails
too sick to walk her decks.
no more will I clothe her with Dacron
no more will I set her course to adventure.
I must leave her and live on the land
I must desert my friend of so many years.
I close my eyes to fight back the sadness
I close my ears to her plaintive cry.
try not to look back,
to see her wiggle her stern flirtatiously in the current.
but I do.