The Beatrice Ravenel Prize
Dennis Ward Stiles
Charleston Docks, Posed for Watercolor
Fingernail moon over the harbor.
Mist easing out of the marsh.
Ships vague as half-forgotten dreams.
Wood and rope that moan and mutter
while masts rock, bob and curtsy
in a constant dance with water.
Water and ships like unhappy lovers.
Water always drunk, trying to hold steady.
Ships always restless, wanting to break free.
Make the blue almost black.
Touch the silver with flecks of gold.
Add a slash of pain-rich red.
Tone the shadows toward romance.