The ensign and Rear Admiral, together in a boat,
after their ship’s sinking, the only ones afloat,
were trying to determine what caused their craft to sink,
dumping them at midnight from their sleep into the drink.
“Who’s at fault?” they speculated.
What misdeed had instigated
this horrific interlude
that left them soaked and nearly nude?
What meeting could be worse?
Could any tryst be more adverse?
And thus they squandered precious time
in expostulations and in mime
when they could have better plotted
in the time they were allotted
how to get out of this mess,
for it’s true, I must confess
that the boat they were in now
had a knothole in the bow
and as they fussed and fretted,
their feet and then their legs were wetted
by seawater seeping in
that was soon up to their chin,
and of the highest and the lowest
the one who turned out to be slowest
was cast out upon the sea,
claiming his priority,
while the one who was most rapid,
keen of eye and much less vapid,
grabbed the only life vest there
where there should have been a pair,
and shifted into his high gear
leaving the admiral in the rear.