Posted in Rituals

End of The Line

Discrimination? Perhaps it was –
US citizens had tickets waiting in Australia,
passage…
to California
Colorado
Connecticut
or any other state that was home.
National Science Foundation grantees, also –
arrive Adelaide, collect ticket.
For New Zealanders,
nothing,
the final part of the journey self-funded.

Not quite cattle class
more refugee
the Coast Guard cutter helicopter hangar
mattresses on the floor
45° rolls
24-hour daylight lattituding to 16.
12 days at sea in the Southern Ocean,
Antarctica to Australia,
whales, icebergs, Southern Lights….
no charge?
Only surcharge – Australia to New Zealand – no-brainer.

The last morning
all 120 queue for breakfast
a voice at the rear bellows
“ remember, it’s our last free meal.”
Everyone immediately took more.

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Author:

Most of my life has been spent on the bench, occasionally called into the game by extravagance or attenuation. Waiting has turned a loner into a recorder - nondescript and inconsequential, more not noticed than overlooked - the non-vantage point of children not yet considered old enough to understand. Orphaned Islands (Un)poetry is a lifetime of picking anecdotes up and not throwing them away. Stories collected like odds and ends placed in a box in the basement, the garage, the garden shed - uncertain as to what their use might be but knowing that one day there might be one.