Gnarled palms sand burrs along the taffrail.
Satisfied, he faces the prow and sniffs the air
above deck, identifying distinct scents
of timber–white oak, teak, cedar, pine–
as he steps lightly over sawed lumber,
reeming irons, pitch ladles, and caulking mallets
to oversee the fill of fresh oakum
and inspect watertight seams
running from stem to stern
while tar dries and lightens in the sun.
He paces starboard to port and back
listening carefully for creaks in the planking
or framework groans from keel or ribs
until certain of a solid hull under his footfalls,
then rechecks every spar, joist, scantling,
davit, hatchway, Continue reading “Brandon Marlon, Summer 2016”