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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 6, Number 2, June 2012

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William Guthrie
Mesa, Arizona, USA


Do You Miss Her?

an old man
stares at the sea
his long-time lover
whispers to him
waits patiently

"Do you miss her?" I asked, leaning alongside him on the rail at the Santa Monica pier. He craned his head toward me, then turned back to gazing at the sea.

"Thirty years ago," he said, after taking the Meerschaum pipe from between his teeth, "I was an able-bodied seaman in the Navy. We had to port in Mexico for emergency repairs on one of our screws. The skipper granted all hands shore leave. Had he not, I'd be an able-bodied seaman yet today. Yes, I miss her . . . but the Mexican girl I fell in love with that first night helps me forget."

somewhere
between night and day,
earth and sea,
there is a moment
when time holds its breath

"Me too," I told him. "Lost my sea legs. Inner ear infection kept me permanently seasick. Couldn't stand upright on a deck, even in port. Went from a sea dog to a desert rat, but I still miss her too."

Day faded while we talked and the lights of the amusement park brightened. With his pipe he pointed to the Ferris wheel. "My granddaughter would ride that thing all day and night if we'd let her. Loves the sea air too. Guess she takes after me a little."

I looked back to those ever hypnotic waters before darkness overtook me. A wave danced against a piling for a second, then was gone, given back to the sea.

siren's wispy touch
spindrift on my face
visions come
swirling from the sea
chased by golden rays

sultry breeze
lifts coyote's cry,
Sonoran moon
breath of the sea
surrounds me

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end

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