EmaBee Inspiration: Attebury’s

lone sailboat on Mill Creek, Annapolis, Maryland (c) 2012 Emily A Willard

By: John D. Willard V – (EmaBee’s dad) [reproduced with permission]


I sit on the silvered pier
Watching the emptied shell of a crab
Flounder in the moving water
A wave comes in

Giving life to the
Limp legs and drooping mouth
The Claws move into an offensive stance
Then the wave falls back to the bay

The faded white shell is drained of life
A bronze snake glides
From beneath a weathered root
Through brackish shrimpgrass

The snake stops at a rock
Polished by the ties white egg like
flicking its forked tongue the snake slithers on
it flares its belly as it touches the wet sand

In the water the snake becomes an eel
With shimmering scales and pointed teeth
I get into the boat
Untied from the barnacled pier

Beside me a school of fish floats on the surface
I wonder what moves the fish to death
the ties the waves the winds the moon
Or is it the halyards beating against the masts

I row against the current
Into the wind misted white
Separated from the green water
I move the boat into the waves quickened by the tides

Looking across the water I seem to be moving backwards
But I keep pushing the boat through the bay
The oarlocks stain wood against metal
My muscles knot my knuckles whiten

I dip my burning hands into the salty cool water
I drift closer to the shore
As the waves come in
The bottom of the boat bounces on the beach

I pull the boat onto the white sand
Tying it to a tree along the shore
I wipe the sticky film of mist from my skin
As I walk I find the bones of fish and birds

Among the shells and stones and seagrass
The sand surrounds my feet
All I can hear are the sounds of the waves
And the wind cut by the grass
The gulls hang quietly in the sky


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