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Captain of the Ship

Lydia McDermott

You have a nice garden,

a good grill and good grilling technique.

You enjoy watching football on your HDTV,


but, somewhere a crocodile is ticking

and water is licking your heels.


Tell your wife

you’re bored. Explain:

as a child you dreamed of becoming a pirate

(A pirate? No one can become a pirate.)

Tell her, she’s missing the point.

You need to buy a convertible

or a motorcycle, to grab life

by its horns (Its horns? Honey.)

She’ll ask you to shave

your beard (It’s too scratchy) Don’t give in;

let your inner pirate bloom.

You may as well tell her

you want more sex,

that she never seems to get into it

like she used to. (Don’t wait

for the response; you won’t like it).

Jump in, tell her maybe the two of you

should get away, go to a dude ranch (A dude ranch?)

Then maybe you should just go by yourself.

Tell her the thing is you just need to feel

like a man (But you are a man).

A man man. A cowboy man. A pirate man.

Tell her you need to be master

of something.

Because you knew as a boy,

playing pirate, tying little Jenny to the hull

of the front porch, you knew these were the roles

you were meant to play and you just want

your goddamned treasure now.

About the Author

Lydia McDermott is a poet and critical writer in the Pacific Northwest. Her poetry has most recently appeared in Cathexis Northwest Press, Red Earth Review, Raw Art Review, and Medusa's Laugh Press.

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