Becalmed

Mid-November. In the damp and quiet atmosphere Everything carries, and we have an ear For distance. Over the woods and harbor There's the whinge of a chainsaw hacking the slash. In the wake of a skiff the buoy bell cants. Overhead are straggling migrations. These far-away sounds encompass our care. Just out of earshot is the one dragger, Angular and low on the water, Weighted with bottomfish. We look askance At its strain and turn to our chores. It's time to shutter up the seaward windows Or go down to the bay to haul out the fleet. The world smells of storage apples and salt In these few days before the hawthorns cut The air again, and our windbreak gives voice to the wind.

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