Shoulders to the Wheel

6 May 2017

The celestial workers
are laying silver leaf
along the river and across the Sound,
and out
into the Atlantic.  They glisten
with muscles that dissolve
into silver, as does a boat,
far out,
returning with its catch?

A fleet thrives, one town over
from us.  And the boats’
combs of nets, (so like the mantilla-hung
combs Spanish women wear
on festive occasions), rise high
above the decks.  Home-bound, the boats
ride low in the ocean, laden
with their living that will flip
fresh into the hands of chefs,
who will address them with
virgin oil, butter, salt, until
they are succulent, and melt
like prayers on appreciative tongues.

Through the celestial work
the fisherman moves, slowly, his boat.
Could silver be more silver,
the Atlantic like a bowl,
the boat moving across it
as though Paul Revere
is working it into the silver.
Then all goes bedazzled,
blinding me.  I turn away,
the morning’s celestial work
done.

Philip Kuepper
(23 March 2017)

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