Slack Tide

Juan Perez

Juan Perez

At slack tide
the kelp wraps
its long wet legs
around whatever
seems to be at hand
A chain under a buoy
A bow line poorly tied
The barefooted old man
fighting to get his boat
back up on the trailer
The empty crab pots
trailing sea grass
like hair ribbons
on the only girl
left in the sea 

Like the pots
the man’s eyes
take in but never
let out what enters
Lets it feed upon itself
The expectant gulls rise
The clams dig in deeper
The old man simply sighs
nothing for it but to allow
the in`coming tide to do
what he cannot manage
Lift the boat whose life
has become heavier
than he can carry
even if empty

“You are neither here nor there,
A hurry through which
known and strange things pass . . .”

 Seamus Heaney

About Peter Notehelfer

I'm a retired people person who now finds the time to watch the little details of the world without worrying about being watched by anyone . . . I live on an Island north of Seattle with my wife named Ellen, a yellow dog named McGee, a yellow cat named Gatzby, and four fine chickens . . . I read fiction, bake bread, smoke salmon, and fish whenever the weather allows . . . Oh, and yes, I try to write a poem every day simply to avoid senility!
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2 Responses to Slack Tide

  1. Absolutely wonderful! Powerfully evocative, I could feel the old man strain underneath the boat, I could feel the sand in my toes, and the clams digging deeper. Simply splendid.


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