Thursday, December 6, 2007

A Day On The Bay

//day on a bay


In new boat shoes,
pressed shorts and shirts,
behind dark glasses,
hair freshly cut and newly dyed,
the eight arrive with wine
and cheese, homemade crab cakes,
still-warm brownies,
to spend a day on a boat on a bay.

Each once had
a spouse who'd,
so to speak,
taken away their seat
when the music stopped
as they'd circled
in marital musical chairs -
leaving them alone among strangers,
trying to cope.
Bitter references to former mates
punctuate their chat
with painful periodic jolts,
like unseen pieces of broken glass
inadvertently stepped on barefoot.
The power boat bouncing on the waves of the bay
creates a wake
that fans out like the bridal veil she wore
years before, one of them ruminates.
They steer past lobster traps
that, if hit, will disable the boat,
like the hurdles that tripped them up
in marriage.

Dropping anchor in a cove
near a bigger boat,

they check out the two
who emerge from below,
in faded tartan bathing suits,
who do not give the expected wave
and disappear again into the cabin.
Gulls shrill. Wavelets slap their hull.
The two boats slowly swing about,
deliberate as Kabuki dancers holding fans,
in the turning tide,
while the eight munch on crunchy crab cakes
and sip cold chardonnay.
One bares her sunblock-pale
arms and legs
to the early summer sun.
"Why?" she wonders,
"Why?", then laughs at someone’s joke
and catches someone’s eye.

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