We sailed a pebbled sea in The Weeping
Willow with our Captains Three and a crew
of me. I was four, practically five, a cabin boy
blue, too young to do much more than cry.
Why they even let me in their crew I only
guess, emotional blackmail – nothing less
could explain how I dared request to join
their ship or shared their Corsairs’ domain.
The Jolly Jacks’ were my sisters three, all older,
naturally, so I was the crew. That gave them
scope to do legitimately, had they the wont,
those despicable things sisters think are fun.
I had to run pointless errands, walk the plank,
clear crocodiles from dank pools at the docks
edge and still yet, pile pebbles so they could
cross the creek, not getting their feet wet.
I regret I did not play the game they said, laid
complaints and bellowed wretchedly, enough
to bring rain. Thankfully the ship never put to
sea – remained moored to its creek side bank.
As steady as a rock was our barque, anchored
on the stream that bubbled by our Ngatapa
home. I never sailed it alone, nor put to sea.
It wasn’t right without the Captains Three.
© 2005, I.D. Carswell