Jack Ross Knutson

No Formal Feeling

When I was 27 years old I sailed through the first 
gasp of a typhoon in the South China Sea
A lucky winner of the union job lottery
In a big metal ship of cargo roasting through the waves 
Like a barnyard bird rotating on a broken barbecue spit
That storm with feminine name had welcomed me 
at 2:00 a.m.
Against a steel bulkhead and then danced me upon 
The partner iron deck until I gave the blood I had 
Promised the Red Cross 
Three ships called for help
Three ships sank with all hands lost
Not to mention, lives, souls, futures and families
Then a hole yawned its arrival through our side, 
generously donating water
Signaling our number was four
But it only takes three for the Trinity and three to 
make a crowd
And with lucky listing and three life-jacket stuffing
We steamed away to calmer days, letters home
Telephone calls, repairs
Then later the reminiscence 
And all that’s left
The life remaining
And the good that you can do