What I learned today

poetry

Today I learned that
ships passing in the night
occasionally make contact

Occasionally a lamplight is flashed
By the one sorry soul
keeping cold vigil overnight
while superior sailors sleep.

In the black-night murks,
that swell and carry
the load,

These barely-beacons
Are usually swallowed by
The latest undulation

The lonely light
flickers on and off
in half-hearted morse code,
a throwaway hello:

short, short, short, short
pause
short
pause
short
long
short
short
long
long
long

This is usually a lost cause
But sometimes,
just sometimes,
another lonely light will reply

It is such an uncommon thing
that
the fatigued mariners
tend to assume it’s a hallucination

Then they return to their
telescope view of the
darkness.

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