Between Boats



On still mornings

conversations coasted over

the flats of Barnegat Bay.

Each ship was still as a phone

with no number, like a voice

of sails or a lightship by day.

No matter how close we were

the words would sink between us.


By afternoon the wind

would scramble everyone’s voice

like a fistful of dice.

O what we rode over home—

the outboard skipping us

across light chop, answers

too deep to pick up.



- George Bishop