Helen Eastman

Mooring

Bringing a boat into a jetty is a precise art.
Come in at too steep an angle and you’ll bump.
Too shallow and you risk being marooned in parallel
with a mocking gulf of water inbetween.
There are so many factors to take into consideration –
wind and current and momentum. And I am

negotiating all of this, while trying to listen to your
abrupt change of subject. Perhaps you have panicked
as you realise this little gesture at romance
is coming to a close. And I realize we are racing each other –
your words, against my floundering attempt to
tether us. I’m lobbing the painter at a cleat, and looking

anywhere you’re not. If we can just make it ashore,
and up the winding path to the pub…
two beers might take the edge of this thing
I know that you have decided to say. And suddenly
I think that I’ll never want to go rowing on this lake again
and losing this childhood pleasure might actually be worse
than whatever else is coming.

*****
Mooring by Helen Eastman was commended in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (May 2019) judged by Terry Jones.

Leave a Reply