Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2011 v10n1
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Badger on the Whaler

Badger wants land, but his teeth
are ship’s captive in a tin. They tack

like the bowheads knocking
the boat. The captain jokes about

the cadence of corpses. Prods
our hero, So, the youngest colonel

in the army claims to be neither
honorable nor heroic? Badger

assures him his gallantry
is merely routine; he can’t stand

the roar of cannons; believes
the fatherland is only a string

of rivers that flow into
the sea. The stays are let go, the jib

flown. Badger appeals to
the captain’s humanity: I could

never forgive you, I could only
live automatically beside you.  end

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