Drifting Along The Shore
I have fallen asleep in small boats while fishing.
When I was young my father made a blanket bed in the bow
but the sleep was short when the fish were biting.
Older, alone, I have slept in small boats at night,
in the moonlight, the smell of gasoline from the motor,
minnows stuck to the aluminum seats, dried out by the sun.
I dipped water from over the edge and washed the boat down
before I floated out.
Then reading a book. Then sleeping a little,
sometimes rocking in the weeds,
fish under me, northern stars,
growing chilly, cup of coffee
from the thermos, almost 11 P.M.
I could hardly see my feet.
Far-off lights from the cabins encircled me,
dark trees and wind.
Rowing back in,
everything getting larger, voices on the porches —
playing cards, talking about home,
about Marge and Judy,
how Steve lost his arm, the assembly job in Iowa.
I drifted through their lives along the shore, happy for them all.