Sardines brined and packed
inside a tin can, separated
from the life we once lived.
The ocean calls, go forth!
The klaxon rings as the tide
catches fire and runs red.
“War, boys! This is it!”
This is what we’ve waited for.
This is what we’re trained for.
Rockets glare like comets
streaking across the night
as the tin can bare’s its teeth.
Then, as the shore shimmers white,
with fair winds and following seas,
each sardine walks his own plank.
Still brined, but no longer packed
inside the tin can. Yet, still separated
from the life we once loved.
Genesis: I have always said the thing I hated most about serving in the Navy was being deployed and the thing I loved the most about being in the Navy was being deployed. This poem is birthed out of that oxymoron.