Somewhere on the Horizon

Somewhere on the horizon
A ship is sailing in our direction,
To save us from this lifeboat
That has become our prison
For thirty tumultuous days.

Salvation appears too distant
To be real,
When food and fresh, fresh water
Are at the end of their reserves
And our hope is growing saltier
With each passing minute.

Our vessel has bounced on every wave;
Our hunger and thirst
Have morphed into despair
And full-fledged rage.

For the four of us,
Cornered by the Ocean
And the sirens that sing to us
To abandon our faith
And come to them for sustenance.
We have no energy left to fight.
We have turned to each other
For the confidence to prevent a mutiny.

What kind of future lies in store for us,
When even the virtue of perseverance
Is devouring itself in self-soothing desperation?

What of we, the sailors three,
Who did the unthinkable to survive?

That’s right;
We drew straws last night
And threw our humanity into the savage Sea!

If only we waited an extra day;
Our friend would have been rescued, too,
By that passing schooner.

But what would you do
From our angle;
If you were not guaranteed a guardian angel
To save you from starvation
And aggressive thirst?

What would you do
If you were stranded in the deadly Pacific
For a month with few edible rations,
At the total mercy of Fortune
And the elements of God and Nature?

What would you do if you had to choose your fate,
Knowing that the choice would cost you your life,
Mattering not the outcome of tossing the dice?

Would you be the hero
Like our fourth,
Who volunteered himself
On his own free will
So that his friends
Could make it through
Another perilous night?

Or would you be the recipient of that favor,
Fully aware that your decision
Would eventually be brought to light?

Is it wrong?
Is it right,
That I am only free
Because the least-experienced sailor
Sacrificed himself for the three?

To be completely honest,
I would rather be he than me.
No one on land understands
The demands that mariners face at sea;
Only the four of us…

Now the three.

 

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