Taylor Graham

Rookie (Pasadena, CA)

A Ship Goes Aground Off Nantucket - Poem by Taylor Graham

based on Elihu Burritt’s “A Child’s Question”

'Fifty-four Forty or Fight! ' It looks like war,
United States against the Motherland.
And off the coast of Massachusetts, Mother
Nature brews a storm.

Against the wind, British sea-men
wrestle down their sails.
But still, their ship
wrecks on the shoals off Nantucket.

Merchants and whalers, good Nantucketeers
rope themselves in, throw themselves
into the waves to save foreign sailors
from a common foe and friend, the Sea.

Now observe this English mariner
shivering and drenched,
wrapped in Yankee
comforters and warmed with tea

as a small child asks
her father, isn’t this the enemy
we wish to go to war
to kill?

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, August 12, 2010

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