Maine winter mornings, south-rising
Sun, cloud-streaked light, straining
Warmth, after coffee, chill remains on
Frozen decks, navigating ice formed this
Week, thin crust of snow, sloshing pans,
Separating, turning, lobster boat, careful
Advance of diesels, steering wider leads,
Opening to deeper water, watching radar,
VHF radio listening, rocky shores bathed
In first light, dawning pink-orange glow.
Water-working Mainers know interaction
Of sunlight, cloud, watery ice, lobstermen
Driving dark-to-dark, earning living near
Gulf of Maine. They’ve witnessed strength
Of wind and tide, winter ice breaking up,
Carried out to sea, conversely, crashing
Onto shore. With sturdy boats, lobster
Fishers pick best days, bitter mornings,
Ice-breaking swells, channels open, home
Buoys bright reflections on ship radar.
There’s a saying around Maine islands,
Learn how others fish these waters before
Dropping lines of traps. Same applies when
Steering through line of trap buoys, often
Underwater at high-tide, grass streaming
On buoy lines, tell-tale water ripples. Like
Trawl-lined traps, Mainers stay connected
To islands and to each other, breath-frosty
Mornings, working icy passages under
Cloud-streaked winter skies.
Many thanks to Steve Train for video (frame captures) of F/V Hattie
Rose navigating ice-cluttered Maine waters. Thanks for reading.