Morning in Lisbon

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The seagulls hovered
Under the scarlet Salazar Bridge
Spanning the whispering Tagus;
Some taking the morning sun
While breasting their blue bedspread.
A family of tugboats chugged
Along the Maritime Station,
Nestling against each other
For their daily baths
From crewmen's hoses
And glistening buckets
Pulled hand over hand from the river.
The ear matched the eye's delight;
A cacophony of dockside sounds:
Creeping work cranes,
Belling cautionary greetings;
Fork trucks putting their backs
Into massive loads of freight;
An occasional mournful boat whistle;
The muted swish of a wave
Against hulls or docks;
The tapping of a seaman's chipping hammer,
Flaking off the old,
Making way for the new.
On the far shore, Christ the King,
One hundred feet high,
Looked right at me.
Spreading His arms benevolently,
He seemed to communicate,
"Peace, brothers and sisters.
"Love one another."
A black freighter,
Delighted to be free,
Kicked up a slip of spray
At her heels,
As she headed for the open sea.