Caroline Maun: “The Pier”


Sunburned people slow dragging

little red wagons of gear.

What’s left of the bait on blacktop

shuddering in the sunset;

a child’s bare feet glancing

over stray tackle and twisting line.

The party boat barrels

in its closed circuit, ten

thousand dollars to hire.

Flints of finery undulate above

shards of a full moon. Music

amplified across the river,

where I walk another thousand steps.

The last fisherman toes

a sheepshead, spilling roe.

Now only these drum are biting.

With eating fish, he’d cut the gills

to bleed them; tonight the fish’s eye

stares crimson by the pier light.

Caroline Maun is an associate professor of English and Interim Chair of the Department of English at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, where she teaches creative writing and American literature. Her poetry books include The Sleeping (Marick Press, 2006), What Remains (Main Street Rag, 2013), and two chapbooks, Cures and Poisons and Greatest Hits, both published by Pudding House Press. Maun has also been published in Bear River Review, Delmarva Review, The MacGuffin, Main Street Rag, Mount Hope Magazine, Summerset Review, Third Wednesday, Peninsula Poets, and Eleven Eleven, among others.

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