VOYAGE AT SEA/INDICTMENT by Connie Woodring

 
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                          VOYAGE AT SEA/INDICTMENT

In a leaky boat my captain sails the sea, and says he will

                    Understand

                                            if the piranha nibbles and gouges away at the crew

                                                                              and their fear.

For in the sea of Understand (especially)

                                        the underwater life

                                                     swims, gargles, eats

                                                                      by remote control.

                                                         DO NOT FRIGHTEN IT

But my captain is screaming for help now (he cannot swim).

                                        In a lone body of water he gargles as he commands,

                          and the fish blink at the glitter of his medals.

My captain knows all the underwater caves where the timid live; but now? 

                              He cannot recognize his crew, so they sink and swallow the green slime and 

               ask,” How does breathing help a clogged lung?”

                                      And where are the rulesorderscommandsstrategyskills? 

                                             In the guts of the friendly and helpful shark.  

                                    UNLESS YOU ARE SMART ENOUGH 

                                                  to remain undigested 

who is to say who wins in the Land of Neptune-Know-It-All?

                      I see it all through this salty sea,

                                            wavy green haze that smarts my eyes so I can see

                                                          with wisdom.  

               My captain gargles for the last time and breathes through his

                                    hero wounds and grasps at any straw in the water---

                                            any straw that will make a new boat.





 
 

 
 
 
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Connie Woodring is a 74-year-old retired psychotherapist/educator/social activist who is getting back to 

her true love of writing after 45 years in her real job. She has a B.A.in English from Penn State University, 

getting great marks from John Barth and Paul West. She has a MSS from Bryn Mawr Graduate School of 

Social Work and Social Research.  She has had 17 poems published in various American and British

 presses, including one nominated for the 2017 Pushcart Prize. She has had two short stories which are 

excerpts from her yet-to-be published novel, “Visiting Hour,” and three articles from her yet-to-be-

published non-fiction book, “What Power? Which People? Reflections on Power Abuse and 

Empowerment,” published.

(Pronouns: she/her)