June 16, 2011

My Captain

I read Whitman aloud
one strange and lonely night -
a light spring breeze danced unaware across my skin -
and I was moved.

I was moved at how his words
seemed to shimmer, to flow
like a stream -
No!
Like a mighty river;
churning, frothing, bubbling,
this mighty river engulfed me;
sending my emotions twisting and turning
in every imaginable direction.

I was moved at what a lonely man
he must have been –
O captain, my sad captain.
Every time a passage would echo with sadness,
I was with him – tears running down my face.

I wept with him.
I laughed with him.
I screamed and shouted,
danced and sang.
I hated with him and I loved with him.
I lived and I died with him.

I walked through the leaves of grass
with Walt Whitman – my captain –
and was moved.


copyright © 2011 Kevin Routh

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