Vanity

I saw you anchored

In summer

Just on the edge

Outside the shoal

Still shallow

Off Shear Pen Pond

Oscar in waders

Scratchin’ for hogs

I’ve seen your

Pease
Mark Alan Lovewell

Stern

In winter

Sputter

While you towed

For scallops

Dredges draining

On the rail

Oscar’s back

Hunched over the board

Culling the last haul

Wide

In Southwest rain gear

The bay

It seemed

Was made just for you

I followed

In my small

Leaky skiff

Towing drags

Humble

In your

Broad shadow

I watched

Your limit stowed

As you left

The pond

On windy days

How you’d head north

Into the swell

Toward Cape Cod

Then turn

And slide

Down the following sea

For the harbor

It seemed

You steered

Yourself

While Oscar washed

You down

I sold him paint

Each spring

To coat your bottom

Kirby red

From New Bedford

You looked so proud

Launched

Fresh painted

Your dog house hatch

Top hat cocked

Later

I saw Oscar

In the hospital

Before he died

We chatted

He seemed

Fine

But then he drifted off

Steve Gentle

Passed you on

Rebuilt

And back afloat

With spars and sail

Instead of drags

You looked so sharp

So new and light

It’s good to see you

Got up in your summer rig

As if the wind

Was made

To push you

Right along

— Steve Ewing