Admit you’ve sailed far enough
by Nels Hanson
when you drift too far to return.
Learn the only way home is true,
not magnetic north. Your closed
eyes are two stars of the Dipper’s
ladle, aiming toward Polaris no
compass needle finds. Vast night
circles, tracing with starry curves
rings of a whirlpool as a drowned
island surfaces on the map pirates
study by candlelight. The tortured
captain, who confessed a buried
treasure lies in the heart, watches
while his wounds begin to close,
and sails bell in a wind so fresh
that the crow’s nest cries “Land!”
In the lowered boat you take an
oar to race the swimming sailors.
Copyright © 2015 by Nels Hanson.