Charles J. Ingerson

EXPENDABLE

Coming into the port
wondering where
no one to give report
or anyone to care.

Maybe the fog dense
keeping us from view
our armor to cleanse
unnoticed all but few.

Maybe it was the smell
lingering as of death
no harbor’s soft bell
unable to take a breath.

Maybe it was our looks
haggard and hollow
vanquished from books
found in life fallow.

Maybe it was the time
gone for eternity alone
hour glasses twisted fine
sand dampened as stone.

They never came to see
for we were expendable
confined to the sea
and now nonreturnable.

(Addendum:

Written to wives at home
letters telling of us gone
swallowed in misty foam
with taps our song

Our belongings packed
all records destroyed
emotions exacted
replacements deployed

Not understanding
we somehow returned
with words demanding
only to be spurned

Expendable we’re found
gone and not to miss
emptiness’s only sound
in the ocean’s hiss.)