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