Being a father watching a son swim at a high school swim meet is a daunting task. In the water with caps on everyone looks the same, and no matter how hard you cheer it is doubtful if the swimmers can hear you ( I know that because in the 500 yard free, they ring a bell on the last 50 yards water level with the lead swimmer). Last week I had the great pleasure of watching my youngest son Richard Patrick enter for the first time the 100 yard butterfly and just smoke the competition. Quite a thrill and since the Alaskanpoet is a firm believer of the tradition of heralds this poem came to me. It is the least I can do for the hundreds of training miles swum in the early morning soaked in chlorine with no one watching and cheering. Great job son; the Ridley Turtle is surely fast!
RICKY LONG LANCE
At the start of World War II, the Japanese had a secret fish
A weapon in whose naval arsenal all would wish
It was called rightly so the Long Lance.
Our cruisers and destroyers never had a chance
Into the water with distance and blazing speed
The game changer all navies would need
Today the Long Lance lives again in human form
Among Sailors unleashed in a frothing storm
Not just propellers of kicking feet but also of strong, quick arms
Skimming across a pool so fast to raise all manner of alarm
Head not seen until half way across the pool
Woe to the opponent not from the Sailor school
A turtle in the marine world was given the chance to show another stroke
Never to look back, only to fly, across the water, a Long Lance uncloaked
One race is not a season, but your fly was to a father quite a thrill
A young son in first honing in on new records to kill.
Michael P. Ridley aka the Alaskanpoet (c) May 2, 2011