William Cullen Jr.: “A Long Good bye”

A Long Goodbye

I hear a cruise ship horn
when I think of you on your last voyage.
You slipped away despite our best efforts
to stretch out a long goodbye.
Now when I stand by the sea
I scan the horizon
looking for you.
I only hear the bells of buoys
or unknown birds
swirling in the mist above.
Once in a while
maybe I’ll hear a fog horn
deep in the night and wonder if it’s a ferry
making unscheduled ports of call.
I don’t want to say goodbye
and so my hands grip this rusty rail
on the Coney Island pier
waiting for a message,
maybe a bottle washing up on shore
with a little note in it
saying perhaps
“Arrived safely. Weather perfect.
Waiting for you.”