United States
43° 1' 56.4708" N, 96° 5' 20.7708" W

I can still hear his voice, lost over the rush of the waves.
When really
It was a fan, stirring up the sticky heat
that sat
as still as I did.

I’m in the middle now
of his grand adventure.
It started simply with a word.
I hardly knew it had.
My friend had so much to say
and I had all the time to listen.

All at once his descriptions became visible.
The green shag carpet under my feet
evolved into the hard, shifty surface of a ship.

Tumbling over the waves, I see boats draw close.
“They come! They come!” Were the shouts.
My face is sprayed with water as I lean over the railing.
“Catch it! Don’t let it drop!” Cries the captain as white packages fly past my face.

But the mutton didn’t make it.

The navy is great--
so I’m told
by sailors much more experienced then I.
“A bed to sleep on every night
Three meals a day.
Every day.”

But the mutton didn’t make it.

They come every once and a while
Those great, grey boats.
Whenever our food supply runs low
they’d come find us.
And like saviors, toss us our supper.

But the mutton didn’t make it.

Nobody likes mutton.
Not the sailors,
not the captain,
not the fish.
Even the enemy Jap tied to a pole refused to take a bite.

So the mutton didn’t make it.

Nobody else seemed to wonder
where those packages went.
Did they float, forever,
drifting across the choppy waves?
They must have a purpose.

But the mutton didn’t make it.

I believe
it sinks below the sea
making it’s way to the shapes wafting in the waves.
And every night, the hungry, lost sailers of the sea
On mutton.


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