All Hands on Deck

Strings may pull at me
And I may 
From time to time
Lose my footing
Listing to the starboard

“All hands on deck!”
And the sleeping giants in the bilge
Now startled
Slam into the gunwale
Kicking off the wall
One giant falls off the berth
Banging his head and torso on the floor
Black, blue and ochre
No time for pain, yet, bones may be broken,
Startle reflex
“All hands on deck,” I said, 
“All right, all right”
(Actually all wrong, all wrong)
The sleeping giants 
Now kind of awake
Although more like sleepwalking
Lunge toward the upper deck
Knocking over a bull horn
Shoving aside the Captain. 

The ship now heaving from crest to trough
Almost capsizing
From stern to bow
The gale winds yelling through the foam
And then,
Just as quickly as it came, 
Calm, total silence. 

A crunching sound coming 
From the hatch
Where one giant now
Feasts on salmon
And another giant
Delicately detaches the strings 
To form a cat’s cradle. 

Guy Ellard Frank loves the written and spoken and sung word. He has published in all three genres. He moved to Richmond in 1978 because Will Rogers said that Richmond was a hotbed of social rest.