The Flemish Captain

So some of his friends made

it out for his last, weathered


the late March rain, thin and soaking

as wave crests on a prow. Better


to have scattered him off

of Newfoundland, says one. Another,


He hated Scottish pipes. But again,

it was the best his widow could do:


Cape May, near the lighthouse, near

where the cold water smacks the sand


and froths mightily, exaggeratedly. And we

two onlookers sit perched beneath


a frayed umbrella on the beach, still

warm from breakfast and soon to set


out shelling, imagine him thus: bookish

more than bawdy, but grown full of tales.


Even the conchs we find later, blue-bleached

ocean bones strewn in halves and quarters,


know no better.


Gwen Wille lives and works in West Chester, PA. She studied writing at the University of New Mexico. Her work has appeared in San Pedro River Review, Philadelphia Stories, and Crow Toes Quarterly, among others. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time in the woods with her son, husband, and high-spirited spaniel.