micki myers

New Year’s Day, 1912

“We are very comfortable in our double tent. Stick of chocolate to celebrate

the New Year.” — Robert Falcon Scott

Very comfortable, is, of course, a matter of perspective.

This being the height of summer, it’s all of minus 14 degrees

during daylight at the South Pole, which is positively balmy

compared to the cold that will kill them three months later

when a stick of chocolate would be as unimaginable a luxury to them

as it is to the barefoot paper boy who sells the news

to the black sea of workers changing shift

at Harland & Wolff’s Queen’s Island, where 15,000 men

are employed there building the Titanic and Olympic,

but nary a one of them Catholic like him. He can’t see

the iceberg that will hit and sink the shipbuilding trade,

but he can taste the Troubles up ahead in Belfast

familiar as bile in the back of this throat.

He looks out at the swirling snow and shivers.

He’s got a long way to go

and his feet are already killing him.

Friendship 7 Splashes Down And Almost Undiscovers The New World

Wintering in the Caribbean isn’t all it’s cracked up to be,

thinks Columbus, as he eases into a chair on deck

to watch the coastline recede as he heads for Spain.

Nice beaches, but the accommodations suck.

He’s got a few weeks at sea to figure out what he’ll tell

Isabella when she asks him where the hell he’s been.

He thinks she’ll like the natives he’s bringing her as souvenirs,

and Ferdinand will get a kick out of the giant lizard in the hold.

If there’s one thing he can be thankful for,

it’s that they seemed to have escaped

picking anything nasty up in the VD department,

because a long voyage with a burning dick is a bitch.

He can’t imagine how he’s missed running into

India, having come so far for so long. He’s imagining

his route laid out on a coconut, when something

catches his eye: a fireball falling out of the sky

into the ocean port-side, making a terrible hiss

and whoosh of steam as it bobs back up to the surface.

By the time John Glenn climbs out, he’s dismissed

the galleon he almost capsized as a mirage

brought on by the excitement of the day.