I’ve read of him
Born a Kerry man, a farmer’s son
He ran away to the sea
Not quite seventeen but tall,
Nigh three decades service to the Royal Navy giving,
Three times he dared Antarctic ice,
Once dancing across broken floes, he saved the stranded men,
Another time he trudged eighteen lonely hours to save a fallen friend,
He was one of the six, fighting tossing seas and ice
And still faced the endless trek for the castaways,
Always ready to laugh or sing
Teaching his fellows, leading,
A strong man, tireless
A pipe clasped in his teeth
Lips eager to smile,
I marvel at his dauntless courage, unfailing cheer
Did he dream green fields and sweet breezes
To keep back the crushing darkness?
How did he keep on going
Fighting the tiller, singing?
I’ve read of him.
© 2020 Maggie Grimes
Tom Crean has been a hero of mine for years, an Irishman in the British Navy. He went to Antarctica, twice with Scott and later with Shackleton in the push to reach the South Pole. In each effort, Crean was noted for his indefatigable strength and good humor, willing to risk himself to save others. Times like these, his spirit lives in the heroes fighting covid-19. MJG