The Beatrice Ravenel Prize
On Windy Hill Pier Where My Father and Uncle Fished Away Their Summer
Before light they left the house,
with minnows and cigarettes.
And the pier extended them
over and above the sea,
settled them for all the day,
as tides came and went again.
In the arc of summer’s sun
they sat benched on weathered wood
or stood, content and constant.
As far out as I could go,
I’d walk the planks to find them
braced against the wood and wind,
brave against the tumbling sea
changing there beneath my feet.
With my bubble gum cigar,
I’d stand with two men smoking,
wordless as fish, and leaning
into pull of the line.