When I Visit The Docks at Night

 

When I visit the docks at night I enter a mystical realm;

what’s familiar in the daylight becomes a stage for a

pageant  from another age –a reminder of what has been

and a plea from the past for us not to forget.

 

Work for the day has ended, the docks are empty.

The boats are all secured and the gulls are quiet.

It’s night and our vision is limited, but small sounds,

as from an unseen wind chime, render accompaniment.

 

The stage is set as the yellow glare from the tethered boats

is diffused in the mist that has descended across the harbor.

It offers a comforting aura to an audience of one

and a mellow atmosphere that softens the chill night air.

 

At night in the shadows cast by the pilings and the rigging

and the nearby buildings on the wharf, unseen and unheard,

I listen to the hubbub of the ancient crews as they gather

on these docks to lay in stores and ice and their very lives.

 

I see their dories nested on deck, the trawl tubs loaded

and the buoys and anchors assembled.

They await their voyage to the Banks and their

deployment at the proper time and place.

 

I see hope in those faces that their dories may

be filled with hundreds of thousands of pounds

of fish; that their payday is generous and their

return to this good port is swift and safe.

 

And, as I listen and watch this pageant unfold,

my wish is that all those whose voices I hear

and whose faces I see and whose hopes  I feel, will return

to perform for me when I again visit the docks at night.

 

© Marty Luster 2012

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