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The Last Watch


On 26 April 2019, Marcus Fisk, Class of 1978, 9th Company, recited this poem in remembrance of Ty Glasgow at Ty's inurnment service.

The Last Watch

I stand alone on the bridge of the ship in the still of night
Gazing at a sea of stars that seems to stretch forever
and yet provides a delicate connection with infinity.

A blanket of silence surrounds me save for the gentle flow of water
that swirls rhythmically along the lines of the hull
only to disappear in an eddy of phosphorescence —
that flickers for a moment — and then is forever gone.

I lift the collar of my bridgecoat in a futile attempt to find shelter
from the mist that envelopes me.

Occasionally my privacy is invaded —
I raise the binoculars to catch the running lights of another traveler
on his journey to I know not where.
Then I am alone again with only my thoughts.

I reflect on my journey through life and realize
that the disappointments were few — The satisfactions far greater.
I look to the east — anticipating, and yet reluctant to accept the moment that I know must come.

As the silent black of night yields to the crimson hue of dawn
I hear a voice, deep within my soul —
softly, yet firmly, it says,

"This is the last watch;
I relieve you, sir."



From the Musical "Four Part Harmony"
by Marcus J. Fisk '78 (CAPT USN Ret.)