Before the base shut down, and
the America's Cup migrated west,
they wandered the streets of Newport,
sailor hats cocked to one side
and a Gene Kelly spring in their stride.
War wasn't yet a teacher,
wiping their innocence clean.
My cousin came back from the 'big one',
just to be killed on the road by a drunk
with much better aim than the Germans.
After Nam, with my husband land-based in Newport,
I searched the cobblestone streets
like a crazy woman,for some hint
Dolph was still there.
Maybe I thought ghosts of old sailors
returned to the place their free fall began,
came to retrace their steps home.
Back to their mother's arms.
Back to a lover's embrace.
No different, really, in that longing
from any of us, when our own
life-changing wars begin.
Pris Campbell (c)2006