One day should not make a difference,
But it does, October morning, frost last
Night, slick boat docks and decks,
Minute less of daylight along Maine
Islands. Hard push begins, more coffee,
Another cigarette, diesels run bit longer,
Watching, waiting for first glimmer of
Cloud-streaked sun, southeast horizon
Rising, hauling weighted lobster traps.
I’m not slowing down this fall, so I told
Family, pacing myself for shorter days,
Deeper hauls. Did they believe me? What’s
Easier, dropping twin traps or five, six
On trawl-lines? Why work myself harder?
I do this every fall, October, November,
Thanksgiving dinner with family up on
Campbello, month later we have usual
Spread in Stonington or Isle au Haut.
Then comes December, men, women
Up on Grand Manan, lobstering on bone-
Chilling ten-foot seas. They’re ready now,
Traps, gear dock-loaded come September.
That was yesterday. Large protected boats,
Stable platform when confronted with sea-
Swells, pitching waves, rubber suits, gloves,
Boots. Yes, one day makes difference for
Lobster fishers, shifting gears for fall.
This will be one of my last poems until after Canadian Thanksgiving,
October 8th. I’m shifting gears for fall. Thanks for reading.