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Bryan J Kolar

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Little Captain
by Bryan J Kolar

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I steered my ship over the glassy calm
Gray skies mirrored in the waters ahead
A ray of light promised yet another dawn
And a dreary day to follow in its stead

I looked around the deck for a thing in mind
And I frowned at the treasure of many years
Sifting through the trinkets and books I find
That nothing from this pile will calm my fears

It's a picture I seek, of a day long gone
When a camera found me at play in a tub
And my wet eyes twinkled like those of a fawn
With a smile so richly laced with love

I gave up my search and returned to the helm
On the hazy horizon at once I saw
Another ship heading toward yonder realm
At a speed no more than a crawl

As my ship overtook this motley boat
I noticed its unusually small size
It seemed unlikely to stay afloat
With the wind and waves on the rise

A silly song drifted up to my ear
And I leaned far over the edge to see
A yellow bear was in charge of the steer
And was smiling and waving at me

I climbed aboard this ship of fools
Bells, balls, and rattles covered the deck
The holds below were full of these colorful tools
The engine room was an utter wreck

I shook my head, confused and amazed
And I wondered as I came back up the stair
If the captain of this silly ship were crazed
And suddenly I spotted him there

He looked up at me curiously with a smile
His big sparkling eyes baby blue
They beckoned me stay and play awhile
And I realized that I wanted to

I knelt down and noticed his soft brown hair
That gave no resistance to the breeze
I saw that his pants were beginning to wear
Since he preferred to crawl on hands and knees

He made strange sounds and giggled much
At sights I thought merely mundane
Slowly I began to recognize the such
Of things that would keep him entertained

His sparkly smile was at its peak
As he pulled himself up to the side
I laughed aloud when I heard him squeak
At the sight of a gull flying by

Suddenly the ship reered from an angry wave
And we were knocked back toward the stern
A tempest was bringing in winds of rage
And the water beneath us began to churn

He wailed as I picked him up from the deck
And raced to the quiet cabin to calm him down
Sobbing, he gripped me tightly around my neck
And I rocked him until he made no sound

This little captain, I realized at that time
Knows little about storms and dangers abound
He lives in a world void of fear and crime
Where cute yellow bears steer ship around

I decided right then that no matter the cost
I would try to protect him from harm
And I discovered the image I thought was lost
Was sleeping soundly in my arms

When the storm passed, we went out of doors
A bright blue sky awaited our sight
He cackled at a pelican from a distant shore
That had perched on the rail to rest its flight

My ship and belongings are lost at sea
But I will never miss them, I know
For disheveled this light ship seems to be
It always finds the best course to go

Oh son, I wish I could live all your fears for you
And leave you with nothing but smiles
But in this life we all must pay our due
It would not be a journey without the trial

Sail on, my little captain
I will always be right here.

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