Rest Your Oars, Old Sailor

By RMCM(SS/AC)Larry Dunn October 20, 2003

He was just a lonely sailor
who had spent life on the sea
his weathered skin and wind blown hair
were marks for all to see.

His old body was bent and sluggish
and his hair was mostly gray
but his eyes were bright and shining
as he sauntered on his way.

He remembered the smell of the ocean
and the laughter of his mates
and surely the COB would pipe him aboard
If he reached those Pearly Gates.

He'd paid his dues for many a year
in boats that went under the seas
and he'd seen his share of action
in the war with the Japanese.

He'd seen the lights of Tokyo
through the lens of a periscope
and he'd seen the sights of Manila Bay
from the sail of a surfaced boat.

His brother went down on Harder
with Sam Dealy at the helm
and a friend was on the Growler
when Gilmore said "take her down."

He'd known a lot heroes
in those years so long ago
just common men who'd heard the call
and now sleep in the deep below.

The memories of their valiant deeds
have dimmed as the years passed by
And those who forgot or never knew
won't notice the tear in his eye.

Now he was searching for a peaceful spot
that faced out towards the sea.
A place where he could rest his oars
in honored dignity.

He was found later on that day
his body cold and still
a smile still graced his weathered face
as he lay upon the hill.

Off to starboard the sea was calm
with barely a trace of foam
his mission was complete now
and his travels had brought him home.

Rest your oars, old sailor
No more will you go to sea
Rest your oars, old sailor
This is where you're supposed to be.

Last Preventive Maintenance December 30, 2005