NATIONAL SENIOR POET LAUREATE RUNNER UP
Edward C. Robson

THE SAIL

As sailors' wives in old New England
     paced their rooftop galleries,
strove to learn the ways of patience,
     ever scanned the surging seas,
scarely daring to rejoice
     each time a sail hove into view
till keener eyes could name the ship
     by fortune favored, and its crew,
so must I endure this waiting,
     knowing not how long the term,
while the one who owns my heart
     contends alone against the storm.

Arms that ache to hold and help her,
     useless, hang against my sides.
Only words have I to send her
     as she battles winds and tides.
Dare I hope those words will lend her
     courage when she needs it most?
Will the might of love defend her,
     rally hope when all seems lost?
Dear one, well I know your valiant
     heart will in the end prevail;
till then, know that mine is watching
     the horizon for your sail.

Edward C. Robson, 58, of Winston-Salem, is a neuropsychologist. This is his first poetry publication. Poetry saved him when his life blue-screened eight years ago. Ed added this message for the SPL contest's producers to his bio sketch: Thank you for taking on the tremendous effort of holding this competition . . .in what seems to be an increasingly prosaic world. Thank you, Ed! His sign is Pisces.