Beware the Urban Seaman

The sailboat careened
Off one moored boat, then another,
By chance heading into shallow harbor,
And more moored boats…
But not deep open water.
Come about,
I shouted,
Using my lone nautical phrase.
Said the captain,
An urban, street-wise, two-week sailor.
Whadya think I’m tryna do, genius?
But with the sail still up,
A dark-sky wind blew us, atilt,
Toward a sharp-rock breakwater.
You tryna kill us, come about,
I shouted again.
A final gust blew us over,
A few feet only from the rocks.
Mast over keel,
The dark side bottomed up,
The embarrassed underbelly,
Unseen ’til now…
Like a dark family secret,
That was never supposed to see the light of day.
Floating on its side, we pulled the boat
To a nearby beach…
The captain now triumphant,
Since he saw the center board
Had somewhere gone missing.