His shoulders hit the earth
With a soft thump
Curls sweep across his eyes
“I’m checking down. Will you stay by me?”
Frenzied fight, finally still
At 535 feet
The sea cradles her prize
“Fitzgerald, we are about 10 miles behind you.”
Crushing, burning his lungs
Pain searing, licking
As a million barbed tongues
The Fitzgerald kept disappearing from radar.
Seas to 35 feet, 100-knot gusts
Captain waging desperate war
On the storm’s ferocious lust
“Fitzgerald, how are you making out?”
“We are holding our own, going along like an old shoe.”
Gifting his crew a few minutes’ peace
Was all their captain could do
Rogue waves thrashing
A thunderous groan
The mighty ship snapping
The crew strewn like stones
A girl shaken from her dream
Recognizing him, somehow
His name she couldn’t have known
Gasping for air, she yearned
And yet, Who is this boy?
Years promised to their home
“It is fairly certain that the Fitzgerald went down.”
Vanishing, this boy
A few short miles from the street
From the safe harbor
Of the girl he wasn’t to meet
“We’re talking now a matter of life and death and looking for survivors that might be in life rafts or in the water.”
Green eyes shimmering
Stroking his soft hair
Silently, he sleeps
Her mouth enveloping
Through his willing lips
My fictitious story.
Setting is the real event of the disappearance of the SS Edmund Fitzgerald.
Excerpted radio transmissions in italics.
The Edmund Fitzgerald went down November 10, 1975.
No distress signals were sent before she sank.
The crew of 29 were lost, and no bodies were recovered.
The exact cause of the sinking remains disputed.
Video posted to youtube by user nh6central
“The Wreck of The Edmund Fitzgerald,” by Gordon Lightfoot.
Purchase album or song here.
For more information about the SS Edmund Fitzgerald, see:
Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as comment, criticism, scholarship, teaching, research and news reporting. Fair use is a use permitted.
“Fair Use” guidelines: http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl102.html