Robert Fillman: “Abandoned Boat”



—after Andrew Wyeth’s Spindrift


To understand any of it
requires intuition, patience,
a love for quiet and black tea.

It means sitting in the dull warmth
of an afternoon, surrounded
only by water and sky. There’s

barely movement, a few herons
or gulls, foam rising and falling
as it floats on the greenish-gray

ruffle of the waves. This dory
is recently emptied, the oars
and tackle stored neatly away,

an owner nowhere to be found.
The shadow of the hull opens
like a mackerel’s mouth before

a jolt stops that yawn forever.
Here a way of life is stranded
on the shore, like a lost bucket

of oysters baking in the sun,
the blue flesh of barefoot soles
cold against a wet, slatted floor.


Robert Fillman is the author of the chapbook November Weather Spell (Main Street Rag, 2019). His poems have recently appeared in Pembroke Magazine, Poetry East, Sugar House Review, Tar River Poetry, Valparaiso Poetry Review, and others. Fillman is an Assistant Professor at Kutztown University.

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