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Contents Page: December 31, 2010, vol 6 no 4

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Glenn G. Coats


Harbor Lights

The boat is lit as it drifts like a planet in the sky. There is a slight breeze. A scent of coffee fills the air each time a cabin door opens. I fish beside my father and my son.

endless ocean
I lift my eyes to see
where I am

The mackerel are not hard to catch. Three bright teasers dance above the baited hooks. At times we flip two and three over the rail at a time. Buckets along the deck begin to fill and the floor turns slippery beneath our feet.

silver sides
one fish the same
as the next

My son’s legs begin to wobble. We send him into the cabin for a Coke but he doesn’t return.  An old salt curses through the door, says some kid heaved near the kitchen. We lead him back out on deck where he falls like a coat on a bench.

I am next. Father has a sandwich in one hand and a rod in the other. He finishes the sandwich and starts on sticks of pepperoni. He is moving like a conductor above the waves. I am suddenly dizzy and join my son.

the captain leans
into the night
low swells

We are not talking as we stare out at the horizon. My son and I pray for the horn to blow twice and the big engines to turn over.

midnight stars
fish flip
in buckets of air


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