Old Wharf on the Bay

Tall round beams standing
in salty water, connecting
fishermen and star-fish gazers
with a moon-shaped bay
on the eastern Pacific.

They stand on land and step into sea,
as rolling barrels from Arctic grounds
tickle their lower legs.
A centipede of wood, this
outward- jutting wharf.

The fishermen sink expectant hooks;
the surfers haul shiny glass
banana-shaped boards of foam;
the weekenders come posing
baby strollers for picture shooting.

Each passing wall of blue
energy slows at reach of
shallow sand, deciding
whether to keep rolling or
transform into a steep stack

of snapping water. On big days
the sea legs shake all the
fishermen. They lock away
their sacrificial bait in rusty boxes
and collapse their fibered rods.

On calm days I step out to a
wooden bench and hang my
face between the rails. Running
people pass below, between the
knotted hips and creosoted thighs.

August buries this preserve
in such drizzle. Gulls go bundling
inside their sleek robes
of white feather, leaning
windward on worn bent knees.

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