The sea’s hand rolled us over

Like palm-held marbles

The engine thumped along

Coughing exhaust into the sun.


The fishing rods swayed in the spray

Like a couple of stood-up prom queens.

Grandpa rose, steadied himself

On the deck.


His hands, unclipped sailor claws,

Right bejeweled with Scottish Rite skull,

The left bound in wedding band,

Worked over small stuff like a fid.


“Look here,” he drew in a bight of line.

The bitter end, acting as the rabbit, poked

Through the hole, around the tree

And back through the hole.


He handed me the line, untied.

“You try,” he said.

Teeth ground in overbite, but three times a charm.

“There,” he said. “Never forget it.”


Back away from the cerulean, the

Pitching and rolling sea.

Haul on the bowline

Our bully boat’s a’ rollin’. 



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