We ran down from the town, loot
in our hands and arms, to water’s edge,
small boats waiting to ferry us back
to the Sea Witch, when Capn, a millennial
no less and looking more a boy than a man,
nodded me aside, and rasped quickly
through broken teeth, his breath rummed:
“Bluebeard, old man, it’s been a good run.
Time to rest on the beach a bit.” He smiled,
knocking me over as two of my mates
quickly tied my feet and ran for the boats.
They left me my loot: a gold watch.
Retirement, pirate style.
Better than a blade in the ribs,
Untying the knots, I watched them
row to the ship, and would have stayed
on the sand except I could hear
angry voices from the town, clamoring
for blood with only mine available.
I did what any self-respecting pirate
would do, and made a run for the trees,
run being a relative word, similar
to scuttle and stagger.
So I lived in the forest for a time,
until the town could rebuild
if not forget, eating nuts and
small moving things, not a diet
I would recommend.
I plotted my second career, and one day
a bedraggled and barefoot man
washed up on the beach, a castaway,
the only survivor forced to the plank
he said, after a terrible pirate attack.
They took me in, and fed me,
and housed me, and took care
of a fellow victim, and I repaid
kindness with kindness. I worked
hard, I served, only reluctantly
did I accept honors and accolades.
Eventually, they elected me governor.
And I became a pirate again.
This week, Tweetspeak Poetry has a poetry prompt on pirates and aging (it was rare, way back when, for pirates to age much beyond 2 or 3 years after becoming a pirate, because they died). To see what others had to say (and write), please visit Tweetspeak Poetry.
Photograph by Petr Kratochvil via Public Domain Pictures. Used with permission.