Julian Berengaut

Seacocks—The Unsung Heroes

I spent the morning
Reading political blogs—
Written by angry people
Calling each other
Loathsome names.

I’m not proud of it;
Shamed, if anything¸
But the thing is that
Once I start, I can’t stop.

But I had a medical appointment
And had to stop and go and pay
Tribute to the medical profession
By waiting my time in a small room
Full of old magazines.

Wooden Boats—The Magazine
For Wooden Boat Owners, Builders and Designers
Was left behind on a seat next to mine.

The cover story was on seacocks—
The unsung heroes of watertight integrity.

I have never heard of seacocks
But watertight integrity
Sounded important
And so I started to read.

You see, the seacocks are the valves
That can stem the flow of raw water
In through-hull fittings.

I didn’t know about through-hull fittings
But come to think about it
Since they go through the hull
Everyone would agree that
You should have seacocks
To keep the boat from sinking.

What a luxury:
A real problem
With a simple solution.

Julian Berengaut was born in Poland. He is the author of The Estate of Wormwood and Honey, a novel set in 19th century Russia. He was educated at universities in Warsaw, Jerusalem, Waltham, Massachusetts and Madison, Wisconsin. He worked for many years as an international debt negotiator. 

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