by Kim Roberts


At night their pulsing bodies lean and sway
in the tide. With tongues as big as anchors,
they moor in salty grass and dream of stones.
They like to steer their course by the Pleiades.
They bless us by alighting on our shore.
By day, they portage slowly over fields
and drag behind a feeble rudder, just
a strip of leather coated with green flies.
They trawl for shade beneath the summer trees,
and sometimes sound a foghorn from a brig.
They bob like a flotilla by the fence,
some up, some down, some caught between the two
as if between two worlds, kneeling in prayer.

-First appeared in Laurel Review, Vol. 30, No. 2, 1996.