Ballad: Our Crew of Two

When we set forth, the breeze blew fair,
The sun shone balmy, warm.
Our sheets were fixed; sail filled with air,
No warning of the storm.

Our crew of two, so cheerfully,
With confidence untried,
Thought we could lick the strongest sea
And still enjoy the ride.

In dinghy small: in ocean great
Our tiny course still true.
We charted stars to navigate;
From Heaven took our cue.

And so we cruised for many years,
Successful in our tour.
With frequent laughter, scarcer tears,
The partnership secure.

But one night when the stars were gone
And clouds obscured our view,
A gust surprised us, struck head-on
And blew the mast askew.

In darkness thick, with rising surge,
We struggled with the sail.
The waves now threatened to submerge
Our vessel in the gale.

We could not see to douse or reef
And so we grappled, blind;
Our crew of two, in disbelief
Left buoyancy behind.

The dinghy tossed like wreckage now
And, hope so far from sight,
We tried once more and then, somehow,
Our crew began to fight.

Through foam and froth and swelling wave
Our agitation grew.
Each violent blast a cause to rave,
To quarrel, stage a coup.

Our crew of two, now one-on-one,
Not just against the squall
Attacked each other ‘til undone,
A rebel’s free-for-all.

So will we drown in waters vast
This tempest take our souls?
And, sinking, will we still lambaste
Each other’s weak controls?

Or could we, if we changed our tack
And pulled together, firm,
Outlast this storm, this inky black,
Our partnership affirm?

Oh, please, let’s try, although the sky
Above is dire and grim.
You take an oar and so will I,
Together scull and skim.

I’ll call you “Captain;”  call me “Mate.”
We’ll rally, make amends.
And, crew of two, we’ll navigate
This stormy night as friends.

 

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Amy Foreman hails from the southern Arizona desert, where she homesteads with her husband and seven children.  She has enjoyed teaching both English and Music at the college level, but is now focused on home-schooling her children, gardening, farming, and writing. 

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14 Responses

  1. CAROL HERRING

    I love this poem. Want to forward it to friends who are going through awful “storms” right now. They’d feel strengthened by your words of struggle and determination, and your word images. Thank you.
    –Carol Ann

    Reply
    • Profile photo of Amy Foreman
      Amy Foreman

      Of course, Carol–please feel free to forward it to anyone it might encourage. My heart goes out to them, wherever they are, and I hope they can rally and navigate their “stormy night as friends.”

      Reply
      • CAROL HERRING

        Thank you so much, Amy. I teach small painting classes for women and it’s become a retreat, where they can express what they’ve had to bottle up inside. Sometimes I do get to doing a watercolor demo for them or a paint-along with me. They rarely get to paint at home. Art is healing—painting or poetry.
        Carol Ann

  2. Profile photo of Amy Foreman
    Amy Foreman

    And yes, James, I wrote this specifically about marriage. I’ve been struck by how, in stressful times of life, when we should be united against a common foe, we sometimes forget, and turn on the very one we should be helping and protecting. And when we do, we not only lose the battle, we lose each other. At least if we stick together, we both have a fighting chance . . . 🙂

    Reply
  3. Rebekah

    Amy, your ballad very much resonates with me right now. Tried, not nearly as successfully, to put into poem a similar idea earlier this week (nothing new under the sun is my motto!). Thanks for the inspiration (in writing and life!).

    Reply

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