With Us Piratesby Dustin Michael
WITH us pirates it has always been
like the hoisting of the main sail.
A rope pulled taught as time
between pirate and all other manner
of swabs not pirate —
an action, a reaction.
A merchant ship sunk, a dance with Jack Ketch.
A lubbers' town ablaze, a bilge-sucking anti-piracy law.
A hand passes over another hand, yo-ho,
and fluttering up the mast we go
I was at the fort in St. Augustine,
looting those gift shop lubbers
by pretending to be a statue,
when word reached me:
the Maersk-Alabama, Captain Phillips,
three sea dogs in a jollyboat — yarr.
On me sunken chest I swear
that such a blow I had not felt
since yon gift shop security blaggard
confiscated me cutlass.
Me parrot, sensing fear,
did reach out his cursed beak
and snatch forth me other eye.
A black day, it was, matey —
the first of many.
For methinks the top of the mast
is fast approaching, the main sail's
up about as far as she'll go.
We pirates tried to adapt, went
to faster ships, to smaller ships, set sail
for stranger shores, and, ultimately
darker fates, with half me crew
fed to the fishes by those scurvy,
pepper-spraying sorority wenches
off Panama City. The rest — yarr.
Rowed out smartly, they did,
to hijack a gay booze cruise
near Key West . . . never to return.
So here me stands,
a living statue scratching
for coins outside a gift shop.
I got no eyes, no hands — by that I mean
both crewmembers and appendages.
Living is as hard as picking up a quarter
with a hook, but not as hard as leveling
an AK-47 with two hooks.
The silver lining, me bucko.
Me only silver left.