I see Gerry

blue hooded sweatshirt
ball cap
blue pants
he calls me
(and everybody else)
I call back
our old joke
as he walks off the ferry
towards his
town car
a ride in both his ports
He’s school bus bound
to haul all those
Chappy kids
back home

We’ll always stop to talk
a day
a week
a month
it’s all the same
We pick up
where we left off
First the touchstone banter
the give and take
rounded up
in real respect of grace
for our lives
He’s died before
I’m reminded
and how
is all we really have
We often hug
sometimes I’ve kissed him
Our connection
like that

We go back
a bit
Gerry on Chappy
and the ferry
me working
on the harbor
Our lives were bound
to overlap
We called each other names
Rocky always stuck
If I had your money
cracked us up
He’d yell
hey Ewen
and say
they call me Angel
always out of love

Other talks drift
back in time
of simple older
Chappy days
He was the main
mechanic man
who kept that
little island running
Fixed the cars
then tucked them
in his yard as junk
The year round
tow truck man
trolling East Beach
in his A frame rig
a landmark
at the Point
Deftly hauling
stranded hulks
free from
hungry waves
Angel of the Shore

I do recall
those younger days with
wife and kids
The husband, father
gentle man
reaching back
a little more
his mother, grandma
and his aunt
in aprons|
at their restaurant

cooking old time
island meals
Somehow my family
ate there once
I recall the
big stuffed chairs
while waiting for
their second seating
Then the steaming
farm house feed
the Jeffers’ spread
Riced potatoes
a first for me
with fresh butter
and ham with peas
some sweet dessert
still sticks to me

We will remember
all of them
the Jeffers women
the Jeffers men
Milton, Lowell
Gerry too
For like these islands
that they shared
the natural beauty
of their souls
surrounds us with
a separate
kind of peace
The love that
never dies

And like the
swirling harbor tide
the Chappy Ferry
will still run
on time
The ready ramp
will surely thump
on the gently swinging deck
as it squares into
the waiting slip
The chain will fall
while as the first car
babumps ashore
off to the side
the man will stand
and watch
the crowd will cram on by
heading for town
or that summer
beach club bus
Slightly smiling
twinkling eyes
all in blue
ball cap and hood
and all time