With Tattered Sails
When we embarked upon this voyage of ours
With just a compass, charts, a sextant, and orders
From the owner of our tiny little ship,
We did not set sail for profit,
Nor for what glory we might achieve,
Nor for notoriety, fame or even admiration.
We hoisted sails and steered our vessel
In the direction where the chart says, “Home.”
There are places on that chart marked,
“Here be dragons” and sometimes our course
Lies right across those uncharted wastes,
But still we have our instruments and our orders.
So, o’er the years we have sailed close-hauled,
Before an errant wind, gentle one day,
A roaring gale the next, hauling on the braces,
Tying down the lines, repairing frayed cordage.
On before the wind we’ve sailed, the two of us,
Splintered spars repaired, replaced, cast overboard,
Doing the best we can to repair the damage,
Making do when we cannot fix what’s broken.
Each year our tattered vessel creeps on,
Looking rather the worse for wear all things considered,
But we on deck, bump along together, stitching parted seams,
Swabbing decks and taking sightings every day.
And sure enough there be dragons as the chart foretold;
Warned us there would be along the course we’d chosen.
And we have fought them as best we could.
Taken wounds along the way - some self-inflicted.
But I have seen the seagulls and the home-bound birds,
And we know that landfall lies just beyond the horizon.
And though she may be tattered He will bring,
Our tired old ship tomorrow certain home to shore.
© 2016 by Tom King