To Wake the Sea

s-s-_catalina2 October 2016

A swirl of gulls
follow the ship out,
above the white froth
of its wake,
then swirl away, sensing
it is too soon
for waste to have accumulated.

Nor will the ship stir up
grub from the depths.
Fish are not plentiful there,
but farther out.

The ship, impervious to all this,
works its way out,
ever out on its voyage,
shoulder to the wheel of the sea,
powerful shoulder ever to the wheel
of the sea, streaming behind it
the ever appearing,
ever disappearing,
wake waking the sea
to the ship’s presence.

Gulls reappear in a swirl
of expectancy, then, after a while
swirl away, turn acrobatic
in the wind, swirl wider,
wider, until like a vast
smoke ring vanish, the ring
they exchange in marriage
to the sea. The ship chugs on,

ever out, farther out,
beyond all ceremony, save
its voyage with the sea
it wakens ever wider as the day
widens across the sky;
the gulls become memory,
so, too, the wake,
become memory as it happens.

Philip Kuepper
(20 August 2016)

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