FOR RICHARD FORD
Water perfectly calm. Perfectly amazing.
Flocks of birds moving
restlessly. Mystery enough in that, God knows.
You ask if I have the time. I do.
Time to go in. Fish not biting
anyway. Nothing doing anywhere.
When, a mile away, we see wind
moving across the water. Sit quiet and
watch it come. Nothing to worry about.
Just wind. Not so strong. Though strong enough.
You say, “Look at that!”
And we hold on to the gunwales as it passes.
I feel it fan my face and ears. Feel it
ruffle my hair–sweeter, it seems,
than any woman's fingers.
Then turn my head and watch
it move on down the Strait,
driving waves before it.
Leaving waves to flop against
our hull. The birds going crazy now,
Boat rocking from side to side.
“Jesus,” you say, “I never saw anything like it.”
“Richard,” I say –
“You'll never see that in Manhattan, my friend.”