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sweet lady, I hear
you’re taking a cruise
with a man you’ve just
met with a knack for
the blues, see you packing
your best, feel the breeze
of the swing of your
beautiful hips

in these days
leading up to the
launch of the ship
you grow younger
by years, all the
scars of the tracks
of your tears
melt away

while I hope that
your trip brings you
all that you crave

and that what I’m suspecting
is unnecessarily grave

I wouldn’t be much
of a sister now, would I
if I let you sail off with your
dreams on your sleeve
when I see where
he’s planted
the soul of his
wandering feet

ain’t no good
ports of call on
a mental lagoon

it’s not about saying
I’ve been where you’re
going, I haven’t

and it’s not that
we make the wrong
choices, we don’t

what we do is we pack
the wrong clothes for
the season, no screen
for the burns when you
reach the equator and
everything opposite
sails back to meet you

ain’t no good
ports of call on
a mental lagoon

but I know that
you’re going, so here
is a map of the eddies
and linns where the salt
ponds of sadness may
pull you too deep

and here is an
anchor to hold you
through storms, if you
stay in the center, lie
low, you’ll be safe

and finally I give you
this locket of ivory, the
scrimshaw inside in a
script he can’t read

of the truth of you

at the first sign
of blame, the first
indication that maybe
the blues he done wrapped
in his packet of charm
holds an asp

take your locket
to the captain
he’ll know
what to do

ain’t no good
ports of call on
a mental lagoon

© Elaine Stirling, 2013
Image of vintage postcard from zazzle.com