The Little Bessy molts its white chipped,
dull letters out to waves it cannot use.
Capsized on the rocky Maine beach, where
it once fished for lobster in richer anchors,
the peapod displays its tattered nets on its hull
while the Man O War, filled with a haul of tourists,
bruises the gentle waves of Penobscot Bay.
Its oars are mounted on the lobster shack wall,
its sails framed in the nautical museum.
Abandoned are the days it was pulled
from its moorings on the wharf and sailed
through Penobscot air or spilled weighted circles,
days that were longer than any of its old parts,
times when old hands hoped for better ways
never knowing they’ve come and gone.
Its broken, rusty anchor once met the spent waves,
the hands holding and releasing it down
to mate firmly with the mount, the moment
when the old lobsterer father firmly grounds
The Little Bessy’s wanton desire to push out to sea.
Betrayed and exposed every day, run by no one,
Bessy drifts into beauty she never desired:
the pretty postcard in the wharf gift shop,
photos taken by others rushing by in other boats,
when she was always meant to be the secret
memory of the lobsterer hauling up his lonely pots.
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