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Old Salt's Tale

Old Ben Mackenzie lives in our attic.

He calls it his Crow's Nest. - Dad calls him dramatic.

And says he tells porkies,"And that don't mean pies!"

Ben creeps up the stairs that lead to the attic,

Loses his footing - and causes a racket.

Dad loses his rag, and says Ben must leave.

But poor Dad falls ill - Ben gets a reprieve.

Ben helps my Mum while Dad's far away,

And weaves me bright yarns of the great U.S.A.

Dad's health improves, he comes home for a bit,

But must live in the shed until he feels fit.

Ben paints our kitchen in yellow and green

And helps me to play 'God Save the Queen'.

For soon it will be Coronation Day,

And Dad will return home to us - and Stay!

Now Ben decides to go back to sea.

He's not a landlubber like mother and me

- But yearns to revisit great places he knew:

Brazil. San Francisco, New York and Peru.

He promises us postcards from cities and ports

And will bring many souvenirs when he reports.

Sadly, no postcard ever came

Nor did Ben live in the attic again...

Now, I sit alone while the cold winds roar,

Imagining Ben in his crow's nest once more.

Time and distance can't ease the pain

Or answer those questions that addle my brain...

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