Amongst beachgrass and clouds I returned,
Where ocean shores are low and wind-swept,
Sand dunes heaped, narrow oyster-shell roads
Bend casually through stands of ocean pines,
Wind bracing, absorbing warm sunlight.
White fishing boats grace docks, waters warm
And turbid, gulls laughing, osprey screeching
On day-marker nests, fishers working before
Dawn on sticky humid mornings, enduring
Mosquitoes on summer-thick nights.
For now, I pack my seabag, enough clothes to
Last a week, a few treats to pass long wheel-
House shifts, driving or watchstanding, slow
Headway, trawl net gradually filling, sun heavy
On our backs, silver moon our serene companion.
This is my life and home, isthmus projecting
Deeply into ocean, lighthouses on subtle hills,
Families gathered for dinner, always watching
Weather, listening on marine VHF radio for
Fishing boats, sturdy names we know well.
So, listen if you have a chance, Fishing Vessel
Frances, making for deep-sea canyons or taking
Flounder beyond sight of shore, diesels churning,
Lights burning, flags flying, making ice, packing
Fish until we set true course for home.