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The Stormy Petrel aka Joseph Ray Hodgson 1829 - 1908

by  crowspark

Posted: Sunday, December 11, 2022
Word Count: 123
Summary: My great, great grandfather

As the wind rises and
waves jostle and boil
diminutive storm petrels
head for the shore
harbingers of the storm.

Wind and waves called
Joseph to the beach
his eyes slitted against
the wind blown salt
to scan the sea for ships.

There was no squall that could
deter this hero of the hour
this seaman strong of shoulder
and arm, eager to risk his
life to save others from harm.

Many lives did he save,
a hero from the age of
four and ten, dragging
the drowning back to life
by grabbing them by the hair.

This hero died a pauper's death
forced to pawn his medals
one by one, until all hope
of living was gone, until
pneumonia took his breath.