Proofship by Remington Hill

Once upon a time, in a land far away,

there was a lesson waiting for a sailor in Mudd Bay.

Well, he wasn’t quite a sailor yet, but for that he had a plan-

to set out on the vastness that took hold the souls of man.


The boy admired the Captain,

who took no likeness to him,

“You’ll never sail with me,” he laughed,

But his face stayed always grim.


To prove himself, the boy pondered,

how could he go about that?

“I’ll build a ship, and sail in it,” to show his own eclat.


He built the mast in image of the cross on Augustine,

King Arthur’s table was the guise the bow sought endlessly.

The down-below, a fox’s hole, the ambry in between,

Stonehenge ordered the stern be strong in the mind of the stripling.


By now the boy was tall and fierce, but still the Captain laughed,

“You . . . will not sail with me,” the Captain creaked, abashed.

What had prestige done to him, which made him act so cold?

In his younger years he’d ranked, but now his rank was old.


The boy’s emotions got to him; was time wasted for this?

A crusted captain’s sorrow planted seeds of regretfulness.

“But no,” he said to the Captain, “I’ll prove myself yet.”

So he set a-sail, forlorn, to seek whatever would fill his net.


Three days passed, one month gone, eight years made its mark,

the boy had yet to return to Mudd Bay and its dark.

The Captain lay silent on his bed, his stare never to stray,

wondering if the boy had sailed to a land far away.


His vision always cloudy, and his face stained with regret,

to know he sent asunder what was his best sailor yet.



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