An odd name for a warship.

From his perch along the barnacle-studded hull,
my brother corrects me, sloop-of-war.
Her title painted gold above the slapping water,

as if composed instead of tinny and distant
stars, stitched as they were on a field of blue.

My brother pulls a rope, raises the flag.
The parrot gun recoils with steel flash and smoke.

I see now the cannonball’s trajectory,
how it moves across an ocean of space,

how the batteries might have blazed against
a dark Atlantic, sending round objects into orbit.

Copyright © 2007, M. Frost

Image Credit: Copyright © 2006, sneakerdog, some rights reserved

U.S.S. Constellation

M. Frost lives in the D.C. area and studies in Baltimore. Her speculative poetry has appeared in numerous journals, including Star*Line, Strange Horizons, The Martian Wave and Paradox. Please contact her through her website: