John D. Bridgers M.D.
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Teakwood Ballads
An Apse at Sea

It came to me at war at sea,
     seen from a rolling deck above.

I sat in line awaiting time
     for the wind to get me borne.

It appeared not then a time of hawks,
     but instead a day of doves --

'Twas the hour of worship
     on a salty Sabbath morn.


On launching trek I rose the  deck
     and soared aloft from off the bow;

My mates and I all turned toward Guam
     fast into the path of harm.

We flew 'neath a lowering layer of cloud
     'midst a misty, squally shower --

Came then to light a wondrous sight
     as we passed beneath the storm.


At noon-day nigh the sun was high --
     shone straight down through the clouds,

With silver shafts extending there
     as stained-glass colors line the sky.

While arches joined their tops it seemed,
     by hap mere images of mind,

Yet, a vaulted apse did I descry.


Why exactly came then such a scene
     at high communion time?

A heavenly sight of great delight
     in war's tumultuous clime.

It was simply chance, will many say --
     just mere coincidence,

But in my mind it's still constrained
     a half-a-century since.

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John D. Bridgers M.D. by Carl Bridgers is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. Copyright ©