The Bashful Stiletto

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic

A poem about a fisherman and his boat

I backed up my old ’92 Chevy strapped to my fishing boat
Through pines and white birches,
The width of us slimming through the half cleared path.
The bare November bark painted on rear-view mirrors broke
Into an open seawater channel leading to the Atlantic.
The brisk Maine wind surfed upon the ocean surface
Uprising schools of miniature waves swimming to shore.

I slowly lured the rudder, then bow, into the water
and she settled in a beautiful buoyant display.
The Bashful Stiletto printed in royal blue was stretched
Across her pale barnacle-infested skin on the starboard side.
She looked sick, like an influenza-tinted green.
Oh, but she was beautiful.

I climbed aboard, playing hopscotch to avoid
fishing lures, lobster traps, and water bottles from past years.
The nearly big enough main cabin
smelt like my high school hockey pads.
I took a deep breath, and grinned.
I started her engine.  A roar
crashed upon rocks from Kennebunkport all the way up the Rockport coast.

The sun fell asleep beneath the oceanto the clanking hum of the motor,
and the static-drowned tunes of Lana del Rey from my radio.
I peered side to side through the fog of my cigarette smoke
looking at the upper-class yacht’s and Edgewater brand bullshit.
Any of these money-eyed vacationers ever caught
a 55-inch, 70-pound stripped bass in those floating luxuries?

I felt the reel tension in my fingertips.
Ten years ago, ‘The Stiletto’ and I were at this very spot for hours
casting out helpless lines trying to catch a nibble.
We caught a rusty can of Moxie and a pound of seaweed.
But we finally hooked that sea-beast, and hauled it on board
as it dried and wriggled for it’s last moments.
It’s scales shined slippery silver – reflecting starlight.
I skinned and gutted him for dinner – Chester was his name.
I don’t know why I named him that.
Chester always seemed more like a bird’s name.
I never did like birds much.
The damn seagulls never ceased to shit
all over ‘the Stiletto’.  Their squawks echoed like
sick World War II sirens warning all fisherman to
“duck and cover” when they swooped down.
So when I held that knife and pierced old Chester’s silver armor,
I realized giving him a bird’s name brought me solace.


Submitted: December 03, 2014

© Copyright 2021 Jay Allan Young. All rights reserved.

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