Safe Harbor


These, a man might say, are the ships of my youth: Portuguese fishing boats off the coast and the weathered schooners with captains who go by captn. Look how many boats can fill the eye! All those ribs and anchors! All those nails and sails! The boats of morning and the boats of goodbye. A man steps down into a ship, an unsteadiness managed, like hunger or fear, and knows the world is full of so much that is not his. Never will be. Once, I was afraid of heights. I would swallow my breath and climb. From one water tower I could see another. The silent wrap of black letters I S T O W N name above whats happening below. Once, I lived in a beautiful city. My neighbor kept a rowboat in his yard. All night it rocked on its keel, with and against each gust of Pacific air. A poor weathered thing without a sea. And the boat was lonely too.