Response to Graham Nunn on Fatherhood Day 18

Unbarnacled

You are the sleek new long boat

bright, bowed wood

buoyant and alive

waiting to slide back

to crystal fresh water

turquoise and clear.

You are waiting

in safe harbour

unmarked and touched

only by the fret-work

in master splicing

scarphed, bevelled

grooved in mortise

and tenon joints.

You will sail to landscapes far

from those who love you most

meet languid Gaugin women

in Rousseau rich jungles

brace yourself in Turner storms

struggle in those wide Sargasso seas.

But then you will learn

to sharpen your bow

steady your stern

scrape your keel

back to barnacle free

and sleek again.

© M.L.Emmett

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