One Last Visit

One Last Visit

By Garland Davis

I walk along the empty, deserted pier,

The old ship swings idly at her moorings,

“Permission to come aboard” I call to the silence,

But only the emptiness replies.


The cooks could be in the Galley,

Preparing a favorite meal.

The snipes could be in the pits,

Making the steam and the electricity.


Where are my shipmates, my friends?

Are they in their racks reading?

Or are they on the decks doing PMS?

In a while, I’ll take a look to see.


I wander through the passageways,

Looking in spaces and work centers.

They are as I remember.

Oh, but it is good to be aboard again.


I sit at a mess deck table

In the place where I always considered mine

I look around and see all the faces

Of all those I that I call shipmate.


I climb down the steep ladder

To the compartment that I once called home

Where I rested my head and listened to the guns

During a time in a younger man’s war.


I touch the chain holding the bunk frame.

An old gray blanket lays on the stretched canvas.

Where is the young sailor who slept here?

Is he in the mirror hanging there?


Will I see him as he was then,

Before his hair turned gray?

Will I see an old man’s reflection,

Or the young sailor of yesterday?


I walk slowly back up the ladder

And retrace my steps through the past

As I make my way toward the Quarterdeck

Where I request to depart for one last time.


Tomorrow the tugs will come,

And take her to the breakers

Where she will end.


10 thoughts on “One Last Visit

  1. Duffy Groener RD2 USS STERETT DLG 31 says:

    Pulls at my heartstrings, too, Garland. Sterett went this way about 7 or 8 years ago.


  2. Mike Young says:

    Garland…I’ve written many poems about My time at Sea….
    I post many of them on Facebook for My Shipmates to see…
    I’ve written a book, it’s called Poems by Mike Young…..
    Available on Amazon, I wrote it for fun….
    I’m not looking to get rich, or make a lot of dough…
    I’m not trying to sell it, just so you know….
    It’s nice to meet someone who also writes about, a time long ago….
    When We were young and rode Ships, all around the globe We would go…
    So if you’d like I’ll send you some poems, not all about Ships,….
    But Navy life in general,


  3. Greg Crum says:

    Definitely pulled at my heart strings–the USS America CV-66 unfortunately met her fate that way, and I sure didnt think she deserved that after being the flag ship of and for our country—I still remember my days from working C&S on the flight deck from 1976-1978–sooooo long ago—but as it was just yesterday in my mind.


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