BRAVE MEN

BRAVE MEN

So easy to lampoon: brave men run in my family.
So easy to sully: brave men pun in my family.

But once we get past salt-encrusted introductions, I
can assure you there is no cut and run in my family.

Which isn’t to say, dear friends, that we lack bloody scruples.
Honor first. There’s no Attila the Hun in my family.

And while the East deserves righteous respect, let’s be frank, shall
we, about hemispheres: there’s no shogun in my family.

In seafaring, whether adrift, aloft, or awash—but
never aground—we’re not to be outdone in my family.

We’ve joined the heaving sea on its high, tossed horizon. We’ve
lost lunch. Scurvy. We’ve been under the gun in my family.

A force ten gale is a fact. Blistering doldrums, also fact. A fresh ripe girl
in port, why yes. There’s no place for a nun in my family.

Lightning set rum aflame. Eagle ray barb stuck in bowsprit.
Hot sperm whale pie. Many a tale’s been spun in my family.

We accept all nature gives—double rainbows, growlers, brash
ice, bergy bits, waterspouts, a blind son in my family.

The death of Ma, in birth. The death of Pa. Then two of five
brothers. You better find ways to have fun in my family.

brave men