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.
Ohhhh, this made me smile.
Especially these lines:
"run being a relative word, similar
to scuttle and stagger."
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