By G.B. Ryan
A German submarine surfaced
near a British Merchant Marine
unarmed ship. The coal smoke tapered
from its four stacks as the engines
cut back on propulsive power.
My father, on the British ship,
remembered that the submarine
was constructed of wooden staves
held in place by wide bands of steel.
Men climbed out of the submarine.
The German captain waited for
the ship to clear its men and when
the British captain, last man off,
was gone in his small boat the sub’s
on-deck torpedo sank the ship
without life lost on either side.
That is how it was in the war’s
opening days, my father said,
contests between the Kaiser’s teams
and King George’s, with sporting rules
acceptable to gentlemen.
G.B. Ryan was born in Ireland and graduated from University College Dublin. He is a ghostwriter in New York City. Elkhound published his WHO YOU NEED TO START A RIOT in May 2017. His poems are nearly all about incidents that involve real people in real places and use little heightened language.