The Ship

As we say good bye to Jim Gardner, I wanted to share this poem with my dear friend Michelle. I’ve altered it slightly (changing she/her to he/him). Sending you so much love and support, Dear Meesh, as you navigate this difficult time.

I am standing upon the seashore.
A ship, at my side,
spreads his white sails to the moving breeze
and starts for the blue ocean.
He is an object of beauty and strength.
I stand and watch him until, at length,
he hangs like a speck of white cloud
just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.

Then, someone at my side says,
“There, he is gone.”

Gone where?

Gone from my sight. That is all.
He is just as large in mast,
hull and spar as he was when he left my side.
And, he is just as able to bear his load
of living freight to his destined port.

His diminished size is in me
— not in him.

And, just at the moment when someone says,
“There, he is gone,”
there are other eyes watching him coming,
and other voices
ready to take up the glad shout,
“Here he comes!”

– Henry Van Dyke