With the thunderclap of God’s gavel,
Ship, heart, and home turned to rubble,
And I floundered upon an emaciated island:
Thin salt; suit pockets filled with sand.
Others were coughed up by the sea,
Like refuse carried by a broken levee,
But, as pride was covered by pauperized attire,
And my beard turned to silver wire,
Cataract stares were all I could give
To souls shaken from the sea merchant’s sieve.
When denial no longer hung, a burst life vest,
I built a tarpaulin home like all the rest.
I heard, from the safe veil of privacy,
The ocean that rumbled, crashing on without me.
Cans of soup and loaves of bread are the surf’s carry,
Thrown to the storm by the Midnight Missionary.
Sickly dejection under the halogen moon,
My life was measured in a bent teaspoon.
For the act detested in the time before,
Makes perfect sense on this distant shore.
Daily rescuers walk defiant on sunlight,
Judgement dealt with godlike smite.
I lift my cup to each passing juror,
God Bless the wretched peddler.