The Albatross


“The Arrival” by Christopher Richard Wynne Nevinson, c. 1913
   From side to side   ||   behind us he is weaving
            Soaring on high   ||   but his wings barely moving
     Back down on earth   ||   on our small tub ungraceful 
   Cold sprays smash us   ||   each gust gifting a face-full 

            Over the rail   ||   and up onto our waiting
    Waiting wet faces   ||   turned half away in fear
                 Closed up jackets   ||   that shrink the world before us 
  Clasp over the basin   ||   all that we hold dear        
             Back on high   ||   then back again before us
     The screech of gulls   ||   cut through a lesser chorus
      Down on the deck   ||   against him I am burning
  Nurse a jealous flame   ||   of wide wings unfurling    
           Crawl on old boat!   ||   Without my steel contraption
       Down I’d float slowly   ||   sea-change my lungs to brine
     Our bodies won’t fly   ||   won’t soar won’t glissando
 Without assistance   ||   in metal or in rhyme