More than a bit of rust trails down the sides of the fishing boat,
signs of the wear of storms and the hard work
of gathering nets and new fish each raw night
and unloading them the morning after.
Hard work that needs each ratchety machine and lift
to work just so, despite the rust, despite the wear,
and leave its marks as the rusty water drains off the hull’s sides.
Yes, there is work to be done ashore, maintenance,
the care of metal and ropes and machinery, so much work
that it cannot all be done in the hours a man can work
and so inevitably, somewhere, rust remains.
leaving just enough metal
just strong enough
to survive another night.
About this poem.
About boats. About us when there is so much that needs work still.
The picture was taken in Provincetown, MA.