"Upon arriving, I met an older man, Thurman..."
“Upon arriving, I met an older man, Thurman…”

Breakfast at Stonington Diner, bulletin board
Ad caught my eye, “Lobster Boat For Sale,”
Bass Harbor phone number listed. Questions
To morning muffin regulars drew no response,
They knew not boat nor number. Like spoon-
Stirred creamer, thoughts swirled within my
Mind, expense of my own boat, working as
Sternman or stern woman, steady job, my
Dream, working my own lobster traps.

Hesitancy realized when I called about this
Boat, voice of an older woman answered,
Mainer’s terse response: “Yes, the boat is for
Sale, seen by appointment only. Your name?”
“Rebecca,” I stated. “Price is firm, call back if
You are serious.” Call click-ended. My intuition,
This lobster boat was reluctantly for sale. Yet,
In three days I called, appointment at retire-
Ment home, unit and room number given.

Upon arriving, I met an older man, Thurman,
Face weather worn, his right hand weak from
Recent stroke, extended just the same. Offering
Of café muffins, he chewed small pieces, warm
Coffee taken in careful sips. “I have only dreams,”
He began, “sleeping dreams of working lobster
Traps, anywhere but here.” Miles from Maine
Deep-water bays, sun filtered through double-
Pane window glass, his days on the water had
Hard run aground.

Speech slightly slurred, we talked. He knew
My family, where I went to school, waters off
Stonington, his dreams were realized along
Gulf side of Swan’s Island, dropping twin and
Triple traps, deep water lines when lobsters
Lurked in cold waters, shorter warps working
Warmer depths, driving dusk to dawn, watching
Weather, rain and fog, his years of experience.
“Make a note,” he said, “Always come home.”

"As agreed, she kept same Familiar name, “Thunder”...
“As agreed, she kept same familiar name, Thunder.”

Afternoon turned to evening, swapping best
Stories, sharing more photos on my phone,
My daily work became his dreams, my dreams,
His daily work. Check written, I now run my
Own lobster boat, new paint and electronics,
Moved her to Stonington. As agreed, she kept
Same familiar name, Thunder, except salty
Woman is at the wheel, taking Maine lobster,
Thurman and Rebecca, our shared dreams.

Poem of new beginnings, of Maine women working as
“lobstermen.”  For those concerned about the
term “lobsterman” referring to women, the issue is
discussed in this NPR article:

Social profiles