The White Ship (13) - Poem by David McLansky
(13) The White Ship
Into the White Mist she sails
On the White Ship by the white rails
Blind in a sea of streaming clouds
Her hands embrace her thin white shroud
Alone on the bow against the rails
She picks the paint with broken nails
Lost in the waves of feathery songs
Deep through the mist she moves along
The white fog is a birthday cake
The bow plows on in uncut wake
No candles burn to light the sun
The White drifts on in deathless run
The rails are hard as cold forged steel
She knows this nightmare must be real
She feels the sweat bead on her brow
The fog absorbs the drops somehow
(As if some hand with cold compress
Had gently dabbed and softly pressed
And then had freshened up the sheets
And left a smell of lemon sweet)
She sees herself upon the deck
Mushroom from a tiny speck:
A white trench coat, the sleeves too long,
She hums a Barbara Streisand song.
But Eleanor of Aquitaine
Says the English are to blame,
"This is madness, " she calls aloud;
A Steward buckles up her shroud.
"Oh Mommy come and rescue me, "
She screams alone far out at sea;
A sneering voice, a shredded cloud
Whispers low, "You're not allowed."
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