The Salt of the Sea
by Philip Primeau
Above the eastern sill of sky, at early tide,
arrives the sun to light the sea.
Its ruddy blood from heaven spills and fills
the bowl of bay with morning.
The boat by motor moves–it rocks, it falls,
from crest to trough and up…
The course is set, the traps are set, the men are set
In rubber suits; their hands are coral cast.
With measured mouths they joke, call bluffs,
yea, the speak of pleasant luck:
Of clean-skinned girls their boys bring home;
the way their wives did moan (now don’);
Of meals hot and tall beers cold; the way they’ll drink,
and drink, and puke finally into a sink–
Then rise, smoky-eyed, to do the work of men,
(again, again!) at early tide.