The Impossible Plank

We were all pirates once,

To be sure,

Living off the rock;

Learning chords,

Where the sharks fed,

How to walk

The impossible plank.


Did the sea-change really come

So cutlass-slash suddenly –

The way one-time fierce,

Blade biting buccanneers

Tell it?

Matching the speed with which

They turned coats,

Abandoned chests,

Betrayed their crew-mates:

Becoming sulking, silent

Sunken hulks:

Old frayed ropes in

Borrowed hats.


Indeed, may it be,

As cabin-boys whisper still,

That the sea hasn’t changed

At all?