At Sea

by Kelson Vibber

The grey fog rolls back from the ocean,
And the rain begins to fall.
A mighty ship with tattered sails
Dives down from the crest of the bulging sea
As wave after wave batters the hardened hull.

The growl of thunder far away
Is nearly lost in the howling wind
And orders shouted vanish—
not a word escapes the swirling tide
Of air, sea, and storm— the horrid din.

Nay, no soul can hear the cry he made,
“Man overboard!”
No help can come; he flounders,
then is lost as she crashes down
In the trough of the massive waves.

Next morning, waters still and calm
Beneath a pale blue sky,
The hulking vessel drifts along
Devoid of crew, deprived of life,
Alone, an empty shell on a vast sea.

December 1992