The Crew

(As our personal ship of state heads out for another voyage,
let’s take a look at some of the crew members:)

George, having wrapped himself in resignation,
like a flag, peeks around the corner,
then waves, but without much enthusiasm.

Bobby exhilarates in the challenge of taking bumps
in the road in stride, avoiding derailment simply by
sheer will and a subtle joy in reaching the next moment
with something intangible inside him still intact.

We see Betty pushing around a shopping cart
filled to the top with memories of hurts sustained.
One lodges inside her chest, slowly dissolves,
dripping into a puddle, then is endlessly recycled,
like water in a fountain.

Joined to her by unseen forces, but turned around
180 degrees, Ali can sense the presence of sacred
forces helping him—with even simple advice like,
“Watch the road now,” or “Feel what she feels here,”
or “Shhh!”

Frederica catches herself daydreaming,
sees its uselessness—then stops, remains silent
inside for a minute, motionless in her mind. . .
Refreshed, she continues on into her day,
but with a bit more dignity, presence.

Still, real questions remain:
Is there a Captain of this ship­—someone who can use
all of the crew’s various energies and still be himself,
someone who is himself,
regardless of storms breaking around him?

Can the foreknowledge of his existence hasten his arrival?
Or is he already here, waiting,
inside each of the partial facets revealed?
(And if so, waiting for what?)

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