Talk Like a Pirate Day*

by Catherine Rogers
poets.org
Honorable Mention, October 2008
Judged by Hélène Cardona and John Fitzgerald


Arr, I say. Arr. My darling
is unimpressed. He twists
his face in ways I can’t
imagine and growls
AAAArrrrrrrrrrrgghh!
just like that. Scoundrel!
I love it when you talk
sea dog. The rest of the day
we go about calling each other
“Me hearty.” At supper,
he calls for grog. I tell him he’ll get
slop, and like it, or I’ll have him
keelhauled. He orders me
to swab the decks. I tell him
that’s the mate’s job. We talk
about whether we want a cabin boy
or girl–it doesn’t matter,
as long as it’s healthy and strong
enough to do the swabbing.
All day we’ve imagined parrots
and dirks and doubloons.
On the other side of midnight,
the quotidian looms
like Her Majesty’s man o’ war.
Tomorrow, I’ll be the one
with two earrings. He’ll have none,
and dress in gray. No matter;
tonight we unbuckle our swashes
and heave to. We rock together
at anchor, dreaming of plunder,
free and ferocious, all night long.

*An international holiday observed annually on September 19



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