North To Duluth - Poem by Michael Pruchnicki
Lakeboat crews anticipate winter lay-up.
Our last trip north from the mills
begins early with gusty winds - large cup
of strong black coffee wards off the chill.
Guys congregate on the forward deck.
They talk of shore leave and Xmas cheer
with wife and kids, Xmas tree & final payday -
cash in the pocket for new TV & cold beer.
'Hey, Gus! See you next Spring? '
'Not me you won't, Mate! '
Twenty-seven years sailing
and all I got to show for it
is coal smoke in my lungs
and a bad back!
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