The skiffs are huddled all in a row
Filled to their gunnels with a cover of snow
Bows pointed outward looking over the ocean
As if eager to launch, been missing that motion
Their sterns peeking aft, the silver ’gainst white
Succumbing to sleep on days of short light
Memory feels the tug of the painter
The sounds of the surf ever grow fainter
Deeper in slumber, sinking down as they doze
Passing the winter, a flock in repose
They are dreaming of corklines and sockeye and web
And bucking the current whether flood or the ebb
The arms of a trailer cradling their sides
Moving up toward the bluff, away from high tides
At the close of the season the scenes are all fading
But the skiffs pass the winter endlessly waiting

Thanks to Ellen Sheehan for the fine photograph that inspired this poem.


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