The Boat of State
I found this boat at the demo-pile one day last April. It was waiting for the dozer to cut it in half with its blade and the steel plates of the CAT’s tread to break it up into the back-fill mix. I have always been drawn to the fringe of human ruin where the world begins to erode the illusion of human control. Old barns, abandoned cities and temples, cemeteries, and now migratory boats that are miles from port.
This was three months into the Trump administration, and now we have about three months until April comes back around. It is the dead of winter, and the robber barons have the cat-bird seat. I am trying to remember that all that green in the background of that picture is winter wheat. That little boat at the demo-pile, stripped of engine, cannibalized for parts, has become how I see my country now. Not a vessel ready to move across the water, but something waiting to be buried. Three days into the New Year and still the bastards have not been keel-hauled.
We use to have a ship of state, yet it seems that ship has sailed. We are almost one year into the current administration and the list of things that have transpired on our voyage makes me think that Odysseus had it easy, and he had pissed off Poseidon . The pumps are working overtime as the bilge-rats chew at the keel. The pirates were under a false flag and had the boarding hooks into the bulwarks before anybody realized we had been taken, sure the ship’s monkey was screaming, and the gulls were agitated overhead, the dolphins had abandoned our wake leagues back, but the captain and crew were not sharing the fact that our three hour tour was going to get rough and there were shoals ahead. The Admiralty had kept that intelligence off the brochure. We were a modern ship, and a modern crew, we did not believe on omens. One of us might even have killed an albatross.
Our ship of state is beached, and the passengers and crew have taken to the long boats. All I can hope for now is that we will find a safe haven or maybe even rescue. And I am gritting my teeth, waiting for at least the weather to turn and the first blossoms of spring on a new island somewhere.