4:30AM, day breaks, the world still sleeps
unsullied by anticipations, frustrations and regrets that rise as the tide throughout the day.
For now a still, simple peace reigns free.
Crisp, cool air kisses sleep away.
Soft rumble, low throttled outboard carries you down the creek to the bay.
Birds stir, saying morning, nice to see you, good luck, good day!
Leave some scraps for us to take away?
Some dip, their wings
tickle the wave-tops
seeking to connect sea and sky.
The bar approaches, yet no drinks served by this establishment.
Motor-cut! Stillness, at first deafens . . .
A gentle lap, lap, lap as the waves caress your skiff.
Up on top of the culling board, a new world to see.
Long tongs in hand, plunge to the bottom,
tease, tease tease, the shells collected,
piled for the their trip to the surface.
CRRRRAAAAACCCCKKKK the handles slap,
hand over hand, drag your prize to the surface
21 feet to the tip 16 to the surface
moment by moment the journey lags
the catch breaks the bays wet grasp.
spray and shells soak the board at your feet.
Close your tongs, repeat!
The board, full no place to stand, in decent to the deck you sort, measure and cull the rock bound jewels. Splash, splash, rejects return to their aquamarine nursery
to filter and feed till next you meet.
A salty breakfast perhaps lunch as well.
A taste of Kessler to cut the chill.
This load barely afloat
to the buy boat goes.
Now, the day well on
life’s accumulated baggage awaiting night
to cleanse for tomorrows rejoinder.
You gotta love the Chesapeake Bay!
For all of my friends from St. Mary’s County, This ones for you!