I was always a pirate,
but I cried when my mother made me apologize
mouth sticky with taffy
standing, chubby and head hanging at the register.
Fast forward about 15 years and the bag was full before I came in...
with each five-fingered purchase,
I flattened filling and raised awareness.
That '86 Royalle Olds' might as well
have had a Jolly Roger on the break light.
Those lawn-lovers had no idea; the gnomes stood no chance.
The refrigerator in that apartment was a shelf of empty bottles.
My mouth was a shelf of angry urchins;
prickly, and poisonous.
Age made me less salt than ore
and I tried to love the land
with fervency and fear.
Clinging to the pews, the fat lady did sing,
and sing, and sing,
but not the ending.
Once you earn the salt-sailor's badge,
there is no convenient way to dress it up,
but boy does it make a good story from the pulpit.
I can't boast of robbed riches or daring escapes.
My ships were sodden floored and taking weight.
My homesteads, still, were fractured living.
So, no, instead of calling the name a fate, I'd rather gloat.
Raccoons, clever bandits and plunderers they are
do not make excuses for their nature.
They are who they are,
am a pirate.