“A Restless Captain”

So much to read in the Sunday papers, my dad says,
Lamenting the wealth of options with equal pleasure and regret.
Almost 11 now, my parents get ready to go to mass.
I decline, citing work to be done, papers to write.

Sitting here,
Grappling with what can’t be grasped—
So near—
The clang and clatter of plates,
My parents are late,
But they are not rushing.
It will be just them at mass.
My brother is out running a race,
My sister is enjoying the start of her summer somewhere vacational,
I am sitting at this table on this porch I did not work on,

Working on living a vocational vacation,
Coming close by escaping far, and then,
In the end,
Returning to the center,
Like a restless captain who sails around the world,
Chasing something he can only find
By docking his ship—
Knocking about on the seas,
Unwilling to rest,
Nearly blinded by the unbridled surf.
Narrow-minded? Or single-minded,
Willing to sail for lifetimes,
Knowing he must,
Before he can sit content by the hearth,
Willing to search the fluid waters to find
What for him holds solid worth.

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