[B]'Twas the night before crew change[/B], when all through the house
Clothing and gadgets and books bewilder my spouse.
The bags still empty soon will be stuffed to the gills
Remember the razor! Remember the pills!
The children were nestled all snug in their beds
I crept 'round the toys and kissed their sweet heads.
And mama at the Keurig hands me a cup
While I carry my bags out and load them all up.
The truck is all fueled and I guess I am too
It’s time to get going, to get away from this zoo!
Like the cat at the door, I can’t quite decide
If I want to be on the in or the outside.
On the boat I am missing the joys of my home
The children, the wife, the time spent alone
Little things too, like a walk on dry land
And a pint of dark stout, snug in my hand
At home I am wond’ring how is the crew,
Are the seas heaped-up high, the wind blowing too?
Is the AIS working, is the new anchor on board,
Did the oil get changed, or was it ignored?
No matter right now; I’ll know soon enough
Here in the driveway I think: do I have all my stuff?
I check the list in my head for the very last time
And hold my wife in my arms as the midnight clock chimes
Pulling out of the ‘hood I settle in for the drive
I don’t need to go fast, I just need to get there alive
Down Seventy-One to Interstate Ten
Five hours through Texas, five more through Lousiane
Now Bastrop! Columbus! Now Sealy, now H-town too!
Come Beaumont! the border, Jennings, and Cajun country true!
Past the edge of my state, into the deep south!
I retool my vocab, put some drawl in my mouth!
As the sky becomes bright I stop for gas and some joe
Rough men throng the counter in fire-proof clothes
At last at the office, I greet shipmates and staff
As I load-up the crew truck we gossip and laugh
Meanwhile back at the house the tree’s all aglitter.
The children race between gifts in a gift paper litter.
Mama sips at her coffee, then turns to her phone.
“Merry Christmas my love, can’t wait ‘til your home.”