May 21, 2013

Diane Stone

WHY MEN GO CRABBING

Something about men and boats:
the hopeful way they nod
to each other, even
before the wind kicks up
and grants permission.

The honest way men clamber
over gunwales, hauling bum knees,
muscles stiff from wading
through cold waves
with traps and oars in hand,
out of breath and out of shape
yet willing to lend tired arms to pain.

They know the rules of daily limits
and closed waters, the art of knots
and bait buckets packed
with expectations.
But joy is something else,
something more than reading tides
and steering clear of shoals;
it’s more about—somehow
getting one damn thing just right.

from Rattle #21, Summer 2004

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