Don Reddick
The Travelogues

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Gloucester, Massachusetts

SHE waits on wooden ship docks
where the boats unload their haul,
she's waiting in a coat in winter
and all summer in a shawl,
she serches all the fishermen
she's looking for her dear,
she's looking for her husband,
they've been married fourteen years.

She meets him every sundown
a mountain of burly strength,
with hands as hard as turtle shell
a beard of considerable length.
She always grabs his hand in hers
and laughs off all the crew hand jeers,
they walk home on a sandy beach
they've been married fourteen years.

Well the sea can be violent
dark and deep,
and occasionally a face
can be lost into the abysmal depths,
and reveal but not a trace.

At home she waits hand and foot
on her fisherman husband Dan,
for in her life she's had many men
though none quite like this man.
Her husband's the kindest man alive
and of all the good stories she hears,
none come close to what she tells
they've been married fourteen years.

They rent a weathered clapboard house
not much but they call it home,
and together they dream of the day
he'll own a boat all of his own.
But now they struggle as good people will
and if ever there are tears,
he'll wipe them from his beloved wife's eyes,
they've been married fourteen years.

Well the sea can be violent
dark and deep,
and fishermen often grow old
to tell the stories of their youth
the likes you've never been told!

He works damn hard, all day long
and for strength he remembers the day
when at twenty-two he was walking home
and saw a girl sitting by the bay,
holding hands with another man
when she turned and met his stare.
He said "Hello" - she gave no reply,
they've been married fourteen years.

He thinks of all the things gone on
in their fourteen years of life,
and he smiles over a brazen sea
at the woman he calls his wife.
He knows he could have done no better
he's stopped being dirty, drunk and vile,
he can't wait to see that woman waiting,
they've been married quite a while.

Which man will live
which man will die
is very hard to say.
It's said the good die when they're young -
don't happen always that way...

The fear that builds up deep inside
can come out in the night.
And though her husband's at her side
she jumps up in a fright.
But through his assuring words she draws
back into her sleeping position,
knowing not the nightmare she has had
was a dream of premonition!

She remembers that day he got out of bed
reluctant, she gave a shove.
He laughed and said he'd get her back,
he wanted to make love.
She said "I don't need any of that!"
and he laughingly boxed her ears.
This has been going on for quite a while,
they've been married fourteen years.

But the sea can be violent
dark and deep,
and occasionally a face
can be lost into the abysmal depths
and reveal but not a trace.

SHE waits on a wooden ship dock
where his boat unloads its haul,
on a cool and breazy summer night
she's wearing his favorite shawl.
She's searching all the fishermen
she's searching for her dear,
she cannot find her husband
they were married fourteen years.

A rugged man walks toward her
very solemn with a face of frown.
He did his best to tell her
she could not help breakdown.
And tears that fall for husbands
are the God-awfulest tears of all,
she walks a ways, falls to the sands
her face she grimaces into her hands.

What a man calls right
what a man calls wrong
can be difficult to discern,
men of even the strongest grain
are apt to sometimes burn.

The man who told was a friend of old
he grew up with her Dan,
and he turned away with a face of stone
to give the crew a hand.
And it hurt that good man greatly
to keep the pacts of youth,
to the extent of holding back
the facts of solemn truth.

Life can be a jovial time
of things all meant to be,
but truth comes hard to the ones
who make their living from the sea.
And few are unpredictable
as those that man the ships,
those men that struggle long and hard,
strong arms, broad backs - tight lips!

For you see...

Dan sits on the rocky shoreline
of southern Newfoundland.
He's with the woman he really wants,
he's asked her for her hand.
And it makes him sad to realize,
though it may seem very strange,
for some men to exist in peace
they sometimes need a change.

NOTE: This poem was written lying in bed while the Hell's Angels fought outside our door at the Kona Inn, Dallas, Texas 1976. Lived there for two months with Danny McCarthy. I have a hazy recollection that I may have borrowed the refrain '...but the sea can be violent, dark and deep...' from a poem entitled 'The Vesperus.' Have never verified this.