OFF CAPE ANN, IN EASTERN OHIO, ALONG PERKINS COVE
by Jnana Hodson
At the helm, trying to steer by the compass
– current pushes toward one way,
the wind in the other –
the hull, tenses and would twist about.
“Don’t worry, you won’t blow over.
When we tip far enough, the sails will empty.
Besides, there’s nothing you can do about a blast
that would dump us.”
“Sounds like you speak from experience.”
“Yeah, that’s how I lost my boat.”
– that sinking feeling, at my fingers.
Myrtle’s “good thing we didn’t have anything
we’d be ashamed of,” after the tornado
ripped through Winona.
One of her husband’s shoes was identified
a hundred miles away, in another state
in the following weeks. Who knows about its companion.
Harold, who had dashed over and pulled Howard
from under the water-filled upright piano,
pointed to the splintered trees still standing
during my first visit, a few years later.
Churned by the remains of a hurricane
far out at sea, twenty-foot breakers
with white tufts blown back from their crests
slam into rocky Maine shore
where Winslow Homer immortalized such scenes.
“It’s calmed down a lot from yesterday,
but it’s still quite a show,” a passer-by says.
Each of these told with slight smiles.
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