Today's poem is by Ellen Dudley


You can solfege the foghorns here and the fog
is so thick it passes through an outstretched hand.
Just now a trawler chugged close to shore, the red buoy
somewhere off her port bow, through the channel
you could swim across if the water was more
than fifty-two degrees, and it isn't. The horns
are distorted in this fog and you can't tell which
is which but they moan pitch perfect and you
could score them to the tides, surf keeping
four-four time. Now and then the grace
notes of the gulls intrude.

The trawlers haul the bundled tourists
out to see the whales to make the payments
on the boat now that the banks are fished out.
And they are fished out. And in the winter
the local boys wrap alka-seltzer in soft bread
and feed the gulls to see them scavenge
and take off, glide and they explode as
the base hits the acid of the gut, raining
feathers, blood and meat. Rats with wings
they call them. Not beautiful. Not the birds,
nor boys, nor sea in this hard place.

Copyright © 2007 Ellen Dudley All rights reserved
from The Geographic Cure
Four Way Books
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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