Today's poem is by Fleda Brown

Indian River Inlet

March: nothing here but a blank Tinkertoy city of docks,
and one revved-up loon piercing the watery center
with its sharp, ancient beak. All alone, it locks

and unlocks the depths. I remember to think how weird
for a bird to fly through water. Meanwhile, little pings,
mooring rings nudging shoulders with the pilings,

and I'm shifting foot to foot on the balcony, waiting
for the loon to show, wondering why it divides itself, how
it knows how. I wonder if it's mocking me.

A fishing boat comes through. Red and blue
jackets emerge, attach tough lines. Way out, dashing
along: eight wild sails. If the sea were thrashing,

we'd be saved by that exclamatory wall of posts. It's
all dangerous: water, air, these railings and thermal
doors. It's a wonder anyone leaves the womb, that we haul

our sails up into this. Notice how far I've come, though—
I want credit, here—to swing this far out between one
thing and another. It's hard, given my dumb,

uncomfortable impulse toward harbor. I like to go down
and pull the covers over, but here's the loon again, rhyme
leaps up. It's a radical world, a boat pitching around

at its lines, that one there cheerily named Lost Time.

Copyright © 2004 Fleda Brown All rights reserved
from The Southern Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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