The Old Sailors

by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

On the green riverbank
age late fifties
I am beginning
to remind myself
Of my great uncle Desir
in the Virgin Islands
On a Saint Thomas back beach
he lived when I last saw him
in a small shack
under the palms
Eighty years old
straight as a Viking
(where the Danes once landed)
he stood looking out
over the flat sea
blue eyes or grey
salt upon his lashes
We
were always sea wanderers
No salt here now
by the great river
in the high desert range
Old sailors stranded
the steelhead
they too lost without it
leap up and die.

| |  Share

  [    ]