Letters from some Friends # 1.

Following the light
of the sun,
we left the Old World . . .

Christopher Columbus

You asked me. . .
What Did I Know . . .
and When Did I Know It?

I knew there were
exotic people
to be found.
More islands
than hitherto known.
Hardened sailors
scarce just as were raw recruits.
All too busy to be courageous
taking our ships across the ocean sea

Beyond that, I was too busy
to indulge in stars.
I was an expert dead reckoner
On a fairytale journey
as far as you could see
we thought it real
We would know China
when we saw it
and figured our route
from 1) where we started
2) figuring our supposed speed
3) with set and drift
4) and lapsed hourglass time.
At length we arrived.
Four trips later
Fairytale intact
we knew the way and that
China bordered Cuba
Too beautiful
those five carefree days
to care if it was China.

But now you know
It’s an island below a continent
with another ocean in the way
Yet our mission was well satisfied.
They all speak Spanish and Catholic,
struggle to escape a bogus conquistador.
They look for their China
on your off-limit shores.

L. Fullington

If you've any comments on this poem, L. Fullington would be pleased to hear from you.