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December 2008, vol 4 no 4

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Gary Eaton

 

A Farewell

Around our perch on the fantail that has been home for three weeks, the disarray of half-packed luggage. Drawers gape, closet doors stand open, and empty coat hangers dangle from their rods. The cabin lights seem somehow dim as we labor to fold and tuck things away. Tomorrow morning we dock, and as we toast a fine voyage, remembering the many good moments, a little wind outside mourns through the wires and rigging, haunting and filling our cabin with a sea voice.

Among last minute things, a biography of Conrad needs to go back to the ship’s library. On my way forward, suitcases packed for transfer line the passageways like sentries, and in every public area people are meeting, probably for the last time, to exchange email addresses, or to sigh and smile over a last martini, like me not wanting it to be over.

But 5 AM comes early, and the next thing I know the old alarm clock rings. I put on my robe and wander onto the balcony, nodding to some others already leaning at the rail.

disconsolate
in the dawn
harbor lights

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