The Doting Wife, Fiction

My fair lass doesn't appreciate my vocation as a sailor on the high seas.

She says those dark waters are my mistress, an accusation I tried to deny.

Her temper, a dull axe and my wooden peg leg are evidence of her conviction.

Not all monsters swim in the ocean.

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Mar 17, 2023·edited Mar 19, 2023Liked by Justin Deming

Land Legs, a poem

My days on the sea are done

No more climbing the shrouds

No more glassing the horizon

No setting the topsail

I sigh and drag myself from bed now

On worn wooden legs

Bent and wobbly

Hanging on to the furniture

Hoping only to navigate as far as the coffeepot

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College Days, Fiction

We carried the wooden dresser across the Boston Commons. I didn’t have money for movers. A Duck Tour guide spotted us. He made a wisecrack about whether I had any panties in the dresser. I lost my concentration and let the dresser drop, damaging one of the legs. Sorry, grandma.

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Mar 17, 2023·edited Mar 17, 2023Liked by Justin Deming

USS Old Wood vs HMS Steadfast, poem turned fiction*

Climbing up the top sails to earn my coin and glory. Two ships joined at the hip and I saw every man fight. I share their stories with honor so that I can avoid my own. I have to turn them right side up because I was hanging upside down


*I originally wrote this as a poem with each sentence being two lines but I was unable to format it on substack so the whole thing looked...wrong. So now it's a narrative.

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Leaving, Fiction

The day had come now. His orders came in and he would be gone for up to nine months. The sailor was shipping up to Boston. His family was heartbroken. Tears rolled down his face as his wife and son waved from shore. His wife’s love was frozen in time.

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Bad Date, Fiction

“I lost my leg.”

“Your what?”

“My leg, my leg!”

“Sit down, you’re embarrassing yourself.”

“I’m shipping off!”

“Where the hell are you going? We haven’t even ordered yet.”

“I’m shipping up to Boston!”

“Christ. Are you high?”

“I’m a sailor, Peg!”

“Ugh. It’s Maureen, and this date is over.”

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Mar 27, 2023·edited Mar 27, 2023Liked by Justin Deming

BEHR Equilibrium

Out of an agonizing, revolving horizon

Eye level of lies

Climbing to find

Blips of perspective, but no depth

Emerging clarity to settle a mind

My mind


Loss is love and I love

Tangible yearning to feel

I can feel. elated, energized, aware, light, cold, open


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