Poetry Porch: Poetry


Words for the Exxon Valdez
By Richard Dey

    New Delhi — The notorious Exxon Valdez, responsible for one of the worst oil spills
    in US history two decades ago, has been bought by an Indian company and almost
    certainly will be scrapped for its steel and spare parts.
            — Associated Press, Mar. 23, 2012

“About time, you say, for me to feel
the wrecker’s ball, the welder’s torch.
‘Good bye, Black Ship, whose black crude spill
blackened bird and fish and beach.’
How readily you shift the blame!
It was not me who sought the fame.

“It was the captain, Hazelwood,
who’d been ashore, with demons drinking;
who, against all seaward ways
and laws, left the bridge, not thinking.
The captain put me on Bligh Reef
and brought Prince William Sound to grief.

“It was the company who knew
the captain had a drinking past;
who knew the radar was not true
and failed to fix it — the die was cast.
Exxon-Mobile struck Bligh Reef
and brought Alaska to its grief.

“Forget the tanker Exxon Valdez.
They are the cars you drive with ease,
cars and the homes that do not freeze,
that threaten yet the Seven Seas.
And when you see my ghost offshore
think only of oil evermore.”

Copyright © 2020 by Richard Dey.