We sailed a pebbled sea in The Weeping Willow with
Captains Three and a crew of me. I was four – almost
five, a cabin boy blue no sailor true, not able to do
much more than cry. They took me I can only guess
on our mother’s decree – it no less explained how I
managed to share their Corsairs’ domain.
The Jolly Jacks were my sisters three – all much older
so naturally I was the crew. That gave them scope to
do legitimately, had they the wont, those despicable
things sisters think are fun. Running pointless errands,
walking the plank, clearing crocodiles from the dank
pools at the docks edge and still yet, pile pebbles so
they could cross the creek and not get their feet wet.
I regret I did not play their game gratefully, complained,
bellowed wretchedly they said, enough to make the rain
flee. Thankfully the ship never put to sea, it remained
moored at its creek bank dock; as steady as a rock was
our supple barque, anchored to the Mangatoitoi Valley
stream that bubbled by our Ngatapa home.
I never sailed it alone, and even when my brother could
walk the grassy banks to the dock, somehow we’d talk
ourselves out of putting to sea. It wasn’t right without
© I.D. Carswell