boats

a few feet from the shore
in the sand, half-buried --
a boat with a broken keel;
the last chips of paint,
faded blue like the sky that surrounds it,
clinging precariously 
to the warped gray-weathered wood,
like sailors reluctant
to leave their lost ship.

a silent oar raises its splintering stem
feebly out of the silt;
wary signal 
to the fishing fleet setting sail,
white masts proud in the sky
their wake's fantails
crisscrossing dances of light
waves touching now and again
the crumbling hull,
a greeting for an old friend.


 Jon Bohrn (1999) ("Glass Panes")

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