Fishermen

boy-in-his-boat

I’ve grown up on this ocean, left school
at sixteen to join my father on his fishing boat,
sailing from harbour while night bled away
into the small hours of morning, the sea,
the whole expanse of it stretched out before us,
sleep still in my eyes, in my mind the fractured
remnants of a dream – all winter spent soaked
through, waves sometimes as high as buildings,
attempts at standing upright. You pay the price
with salt ground deep in your bones, seagulls
screaming through your brain. But I would never
change it, not for those days when dolphins
break the surface, or the bobbing heads of seals;
for summers of colour when the coastline
transforms, swimming with sun full on my back.
That’s when I take my youngest son
who at the prow shouts: ‘Daddy, daddy! Water.’

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