Doing the Morning Crossword

11 February 2018

A grid of boats
spread the harbor
tight as a crossword puzzle.
Two down, spelunker,
forty across, aloft,
is what I imagined
their bows spelling out.

I thought the Blue Grotto,
snug beneath Capri.  I thought
Billy Budd, on watch,
the sky at night at sea
a crossword of stars,
a crossword where earth
and the celestial meet
attempting to solve the mystery
of clues we know not enough about
even to put into words.

The grid of boats,
some of which were Chris Crafts,
crisscrossed the harbor
with the sleek meaning of their lines.
On one, sailors sunbathed, naked.
On another sat a dog upright
in august stillness.  Was he real?
As for solving further clues,
the pencil thin steeple of the harbor church
stood at rest,
as though pondering thirty-three across.

Philip Kuepper
(4 February 2018)

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