SHIP TO SHORE
Here I am, said the old man
still young, trapped between
ship and shore. I understand
that we’re always on the gangplank,
having just arrived or just heading
for departure. There’s always
someone to talk to, someone pausing
to put that suitcase down and then
rub chafed hands. “I’m heading south,
old son. Didn’t work out over there.
East, west, home’s best, eh?”
Yes, I guess so. And I turn to watch
a shimmying flag at a lonely masthead.
All to play for across a monotony
of waves. No suitcase for the next guy.
He’s a nomad under a hundredweight
of rucksack, thumbs under the straps.
“I’m off to Panajachel to join
my girlfriend. The most beautiful place
on earth, she says!” Yes, I guess so
and I turn to watch the only cloud
pass behind the funnel. Fortune
favours the bold under a limitless
certainty of sky.