As New Pilgrims
but with a solid rudder and hull,
we took our turns at the tiller,
those out on the rail repeating
orders on trim to the mid-deck
who, in turn, yelled back
to the helmsman when to steer
up into the needling gale.
We knew exactly why we were going
and precisely where we were headed,
even as our charts were old and inexact,
leaving much to imagination and luck
in avoiding sandy shoals and razor reefs.
We plowed on to wind, breathing free
and giddy to be gone, full of hope the land
would not be ruined upon our arrival,
yet sure we could set things right if it were—
never fearing the prospect of failure,
for we had known its full measure already
heaped upon us by those now left behind
with not a lick of remorse.