We Set Sail

while first mate Grandpa naps
(our ship’s outfitter even though
he’d whispered it’s just between
us three) before he set to snoring
he’d handed me the globe he said
he’d had since he was a lad
and he let sister hold the knobby wheel
for steering but which he’s says
we’re to call the helm

from the creaky trunk beside his chair
he’d pulled out our sailors shirts though
we’ve only one hat we take turns wearing
watched him drop in what we’d had on
telling us not to grow too much or he’ll have to
make scare crows of ‘em even as he reaches
down the old kaleidoscope spy glass from
the shelf above the lamp. Lets each of us
carry a side of his bird watching binoculars

and I whisper to Sissy that he’s
almost like a clown ‘cause he can keep
pulling out everything we need right down
to a life preserver which he sternly tells us
no good sailor is ever without

so we play kinda quiet,  his snoring
our foghorn from the lighthouse by the cliffs
 as waves crash over our clothes basket dinghy
(although Grandpa says we just hear the
washer rocking in the basement below us)
but we spy the ocean breaking on rocks above
his head where he sleeps in his chair
take turns scanning the dunes and the marsh grass
sweeping left to right like he’s taught us
searching for a unicorn although if we find one
we can’t wake Grandpa no matter what.

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