The silver-tongued bandit - entered a home one night,
only to discover - that he was not alone..
In front of a fireplace - sitting on the carpet,
a girl was eating French fries - relaxed by a phone..
She was apparently reading - from a book of braille,
as her fingers moved swiftly - across the page..
Silently turning, walking quietly - he left the home,
with a heart that was heavy - and filled with self-rage.
His life of crime - now brought feelings of anger,
of how he'd taken - everything in life for granted..
There are no free estimates - for life or sight,
in his mind, new thoughts - were being planted..
He realized in this moment - his life had turned around,
and he felt a feeling - of gratefulness for that..
And all because - he'd seen this blind girl living,
a life of courage - he knew his life was now on track.
Aboard the SLEEK clipper ship, FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE, SURFACE TENSION was building among the crew. Heavy rains had waves breaking over the rails and the ship's motion moving BACKWARDS and forwards kept the crew alert. Mother Nature's PLUMBER was not on call to stop the flow of this furious storm causing havoc. The drenched PARROT chained to a mast kept calling out, “there's A CHILL WIND A' BLOWING, drink from the WATERING HOLE, the watering hole”--though it was faint at times due to sounds being drowned out by the wind. The crew's TRIPLETS were ready to release the dang bird because of all the squawking he was doing. As the winds calmed down, and the ship became steady once again, cargo was checked as well as the guns stationed along the rails. Captain Jack received cheers from his crew and all but one young apprentice sought his AUTOGRAPH. The lone apprentice quietly walked up to the captain, took his hand and beaming up at him said, “well done, Father'!” The captain smiling down at his son thought, “your mother would have killed me had I not bought you back safely”...With calmed seas, they were homeward bound.
Danae worked feverishly to record on her laptop the story Miz Trent was telling. She couldn’t capture the dialect, but she tried to be faithful to the words.
“My late husband was a plumber as was his father before him, but long ago, my husband’s people were sea-faring people. For black people there was not much hope for happiness on the land around here, so they went to sea. Life was rough, but there was a certain justice in knowing that everybody was subject to the same kind of punishment if the ship foundered. One of the boys who went to sea was name Reynaud. He was the middle of three brothers who looked so much alike that people thought they were triplets. They all loved to tinker with their hands. One season when they were out Reynaud created a device that stopped the backwards run across the pulleys during storms. They used it on their vessel and the captain was very grateful. One night while Reynaud was on watch he heard the watch called, “A chill wind’s a blowing!” He knew his device would come in handy that evening. As everyone moved around double-checking the rigging, Reynaud removed the crew’s parrot from its perch and took it below. As he returned to the deck he felt an eerie calm around the ship, not anything like a storm. Sailors anxiously observed the surface tension of the swells, unfamiliar with the sensation they were all sharing. Suddenly, a sleek shape began to emerge from the depths on the port side of the ship. It was the biggest right whale any of them had ever seen. They all cheered. If they could kill this one and get it to port they’d all be rich enough to live in watering holes all winter, without having to go back out again. It was Reynaud’s job to shoot the harpoon gun into the perfect place to kill the whale. But just as he was ready to fire, the whale rolled and looked at him. In its eye Reynaud saw an intelligence and gravity beyond anything he’d ever seen before. He felt the reproach and sorrow emanating from the huge creature. He stayed his hand, and didn’t fire. His crewmates went crazy. He was pulled back and thrown away from the gun and another took over and fired. The shot went wild and the whale slipped back beneath the sea.
After beating him severely, they confined Reynaud to the brig and kept him there until the next port. They put him ashore in Boston. He was hurt and hungry when a young Florence Nightingale took him in. Not the real one, you understand, but a young nurse. When he was well enough, she connected him with her father, an eminent lawyer whose autograph appears on the Declaration of Independence. He saw the brilliance of Reynaud’s design and wanted to help him sell it. Reynaud didn’t want to hold the patent himself because he didn’t think he’d be able to enforce it, so he took a large cash payout, enough to buy a farm back home. He asked the young lady to come with him as his wife. She agreed, much to the consternation of her father who feared what kind of life a young white woman and a young black ex-sailor could have together. But the couple persevered and headed south. By the time they arrived here, she was carrying their first child – those are the bones in the closet. But that’s another story and I’m tired.”
“Will you come see me tomorrow?” she asked Danae. The young woman tucked a blanket in around Miz Trent’s legs and said, “Wild horses couldn’t keep me away!”