Baltimore saved the nation? Come on!
The British were depleted and simply retreated.
The fire went out of their belly.
Like in all wars — there were no winners,
only folks tired of the pandemonium,
the burst cannons, the bombarded forts,
the burned towns, the bullied helpless,
so many men dead for nothing,
cousins versus cousins,
as usual — an extended family quarrel —
extended beyond recognition as legend,
with heroes all on our side,
villains all on theirs,
and so on and so forth a new tapestry —
woven from tattered memories,
over centuries a brocade of lies
handed down from mouth to mouth
made resplendent by the vote seekers
and the demagogues,
then sold to history
as a glorious event worthy
Therefore a Sailabration!
A harbor immersed in silt
dredged by a city
immersed in debt
and both emerge
shining from head to foot
in borrowed feathers — the city,
on borrowed time — the harbor,
for the tall ships
to cavort in
and declare the maritime past
the demise of the enemy
is just as alive
as two hundred years ago
when the land of the brave
from sea to shining sea
distilled in Baltimore
and resisted the onslaught
of a despotic parent
who could not let go.
I scoff at this foolishness —
this waste of resources —
on a Sailabration
that we could do without —
the second birth of a nation —
like the second taking of marriage vows —
sentimental slop —
for the romantic at heart to slurp up —
I say, "I will not participate —
in the nonsense — I will not go,"
Then I close my eyes
and visualize the TALL SHIPS —
those wonders of the sea —
that vindicate men for all the harm —
they have done this world.
So many of those ships together —
their lungs inflated
by the salty breath of the Bay —
making sea talk as they pause —
their piratical splendor on display —
I am weak for the Tall Ships —
their length—their strength —
their captains in gleaming white —
conversations about where they've been —
where they are headed —
what they've seen —
I am completely captivated
by the arrangement of their sails —
and the symmetry of their exterior —
So if I said, "I will not participate —
I will not go,"
I take it back.
If the city conducts a symphony of Tall Ships
into the harbor —
I will bring my own baton and harmonize —
I swear —
even though the whole affair —
will be unadulterated, self indulgent nonsense —
I'll be there —
because I am weak for the Tall Ships.
Usha Nellore, Bel AirCopyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun