The Quay

Here we are 
in the tidy, polished space
that is the captain’s day cabin
And here he is
the Captain all stiff-white shirt
black tie, braid epaulets
And this, his First Officer
taller, slimmer
expressionless
And here’s Danny, the union man
from Northern Ireland, heavy set
tidied up for this occasion
See the eight crew
shyly shuffling in, lining up
unused to such static situations
Silence
like the pause after an Amen
Captain about to speak
Even a laughing gull
wheels by the window
straight-faced
Merchant Navy Code of Conduct
disciplinary breach
hearing begins
misconduct
absence at the time of sailing
wages deducted
Outside late August
The crew file off
Except the tallest, young, blue-eyed one
He’s been asked to stay
More silence
until the cabin door closes
The first officer, less formal now
Christopher, it’s my duty
to report that your father
died this morning
We see the young man
fold at the knees caught
held up under the arms
helped to the door
This is where the story really begins

~

n.b. NaPoWriMo 2022 Day Fourteen Prompt: The opening scene to a film about your life.

CLP 14/04/2022