|Ode to the City of Midland Str.
As appeared on page three of the March, 1998 issue of "Crews'n News", newsletter of the Lake Michigan Carferry Service, Inc.
Towed to Muskegon October 1, 1997 to be converted to a barge.
By Tom Cubberly
Your stack was so beautiful against the purple sky,
Moonlight dancing off your wake so wide.
Glimmering lights on the horizon I see,
Your decks awash with sparkling sea.
Nary cause of concern from you,
Though neath your hull deep sea of blue.
Whistles, bells and horns I hear,
As Captain orders up your gear.
Chadburn rings, engine room awake,
Anchor secure, lines in the take.
Smell of coal and burning black,
Billows out your proud old stack.
Steam is up and blades atwirl,
Turning surely beneath the swirl.
Happy arms wave to and fro,
Fishers, friends and folks some know.
Shout goodbye this side then,
Repeat but hello at their destination.
Gulls cry out and lilt by stern,
Ever watching if it be their turn,
Some treat to find flushed from below,
Or tossed by person with great heave-ho.
Steady pulse from engine room throbs,
Giving notice to boilers doing their job.
Never weary, pointing your bow,
Toward the biggest of waves, get through somehow.
Kewaunee, Milwaukee, Manitowoc a dream,
Til lights on the shore distant are seen.
And during the day when light is so clear,
You capture the mind with memories dear.
Now trains no longer rumble your deck,
Gliding over steel so firmly set.
And list to port or starboard with load,
A memory of past cargo stowed.
Freight rounds the lake by rail today,
Gary, Chicago, sent on its way.
We look in vain at Pere Marquette,
Your slip so empty, this we regret.
Starlings barren, no more to hold,
Your sleek body safe from the blow.
Your ramp reaches out as if to cry,
?Come back, come back, just one more try!?
Echoes of laughter, shouts and tears,
Fill the air where you appeared.
Badger and Spartan here repose,
Sisters once sharing your heavy workloads.
Glad we are one grabbed the baton,
Carferry tradition must carry on.
No, the shoreline visage is not the same,
Time caught you in its sad refrain.
Able seamen say one by one,
?I will miss you, my friend, old 41.?
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