Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Strength of Mrs Johns - by Bob Atkinson

The Strength of Mrs Johns
(c)2013 Bob Atkinson
in the fall of thirty-three
nearly two hundred years ago
a lady rode a wooden conveyance
sleek muscled boat of sail

upon the lake of Erie
that flowed down to Niagara Falls
she paid her fare and set full sail
for a fast trip to Buffalo

a schooner be a ship of note
on that fabled lake of lore
multi-masted beast of burden
if on land a wagon for loading

she rode upon the water swift
until a gale of force did hard blow
which laid her over on her side
captain's drunk, he didn't know

now if you think Concordia
you'll understand my thoughts
how the crew could abandon ship
and to a passenger have little thought

they did save their cask of rum
and their own butts as they rowed
to land for to lament the fact
that down she didn't go

Mrs Johns stayed in her cabin
five days in periled stance
sometimes so little air to breathe
as the vessel rocked and danced

Captain Wilkins told his peer
Captain Appleby of note
no hope for recovering her body
not here, "away she's floated"

Captain Appleby, her nephew
did want to bury her whole
so he came back with her son
and pumped ship 'till she floated

upright with mast held high
deck and cabin still awash
stairs so full of water wet
they creaked as they were soaked

then to all amazement
up those water filled stairs arose
an intact Mrs Johns
to their astonishment she had shown

five days of hard integrity
not giving up the ghost
she breathed what little air there was
as she had stood upon her toes

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