Ship in a bottle

Poem submitted by Chad Hearon

Stubborn warped wood creaky as the warble of a toad
Bleached white sails stretched thinner than ghostly skin
Splitting the ocean waves like a knife through vines
A plastic model of glory immortalized 
so delicately in a recycled glass of brandy. 

Molded after the real thing you look the part
so charming but just like a toy, these
parts are different, just wasn’t built the same
A pliant rowboat pretending 
it will grow into an eminent galleon

You are not the vision you model
You are an ode to a beautiful dream
You will not float much less conquer 
the seas with grace and swagger. Whereas they
are strong and resilient

You are a replica encased in a glass blanket
You cannot be poked or prodded or shook 
For fear of crumbling
like a sandcastle in an earthquake

Your makers had a fantasy and you
were their avenue, paved like the road to El Dorado 
You are a sleek and beautiful covenant 
To hallucinations of grandeur 
Their wooden larvae in a glass cocoon 

The seams of your skeleton are bereft 
of viscous golden ichor but you are shadowed
by twelve labors anyhow
And when you failed to keep to the impossible 
standard you were held against, 

they put you on a wall 
to entertain their guests. You 
became a conversation piece. 
A spectacle in the home
A knick-knack
that’s just for show

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