The bunting looks emaciated,
hanging there with stars above
and stripes dangling. Two desks
leer across a gap too wide
for puberty to negotiate.
Through the open door we spot
feet atop one desk, ankles
crossed for emphasis. The navy
goes to sea, out to sea, far away
to sea, but the tides don’t reach
this dusty office, don’t ebb and leave
bony, pebbled décor to sport
in ripples along the carpet.
We won’t join the navy today.
We won’t join the navy tomorrow.
We’ll join when the icecaps melt
and these desks buoy on gray chop
and the ankles uncross themselves
and the latent seaman, happy
at last, swims upright and salutes.
Featured photo by: Bryan Schutmaat