Becalmed

Late in the day, becalmed,
the passengers of the sailboat
wonder what is to become of them—
miles from shore, no way to radio for help;
the different reactions to the danger they face
not yet at the boiling point of conflict.

“Looks like we’re stranded, Mark,” someone says
to the oldest, most experienced person aboard.
Mark lifts his finger to the wind, then mutters
that they should have taken some precautions.
The teenager gives up quickly, retreats
with a morose stare fixed on his face.
The others engage in fruitless discussions,
as they wait for someone to come
and miraculously rescue them.
Why don’t they figure out how to create some
paddles from the packing crate in the corner?

Instead, as the sun sets,
the boat slowly fades
into the distance
until no sounds can be heard.

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