Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Ghost Ship of New Bern

By T.L. Coston

Calm – eerily calm was the Neuse on that September night
Barely a wave rippled the first, full moon’s light
Alone, I stood watching and waiting for what?  I didn’t know
Listening - anticipating on New Bern's shore

Minutes seemed like hours, and yet I tarried; 
Anchored was I, waiting and waiting
Till the nights dew wetted my feet and cold began to bite
Finally, a whispered scent stilled my shivers, and bumps turned into fright

A distant flicker grew with each wave slapping – slapping New Bern’s shore. 
Closer it came, this flaming shadow, odorous of burnt wood and flesh.
Silently, the pulsating orb approached, casting a hellish hue
 It was then, the full moon revealed the ghost ship of yore

On deck, shadows of Palatine emigrants writhed in flames
Yet, neither ship nor soul was consumed
Nor a crackle of fire or piteous plea were heard as they sailed by
Wave upon wave slapping – slapping New Bern’s shore.

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