Companions

Gulls wheeling overhead

Carving patterns that never collide

Calling each to other in weirding cries,

A raucous chorus that haunts the air

Dipping and diving, rising and soaring

Carried aloft on unseen strings

By myriad unseen puppeteers.

They follow the boats far out to sea

And signal their return to port.

Regiments in white and black

Arrayed in untidy jostling ranks

That hover in the sky above,

Ghostly apparitions of those

Who dared the fates and lost

Now doomed to ever follow the boats.

All those uncounted seamen taken

On the waters over long millennia.

The sea rose up to pull them down

And fold them in its bosom.

When flesh devoured and bones all ground away,

And asked to choose tween Heaven and Hell

They chose instead to follow the boats

And be their sole companions

For all eternity.

When fishers unmoor and head to sea

They are upheld by all the hosts hovering above,

Feathered ghosts of all who sailed before.

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