Sierra Golden: "Elegy for a Boat"



          After W.S. Merwin


I first saw you

in the bucket-dark

dusk, a season

of half-bit snow, you

dressed in a shawl of it.

Frozen lines creaked

on cleats and then

when spring climbed into

summer, I opened your

doors, tamped oakum

into invisible seams,

stoked the diesel stove, and

stripped you

to bone-colored planks.

I brushed gloss back

into wood steamed

til it bent, curved into

the song of a boat.


Salmon rang

in the sound like bells

we answered. What else

could we do,

the years going by

while town discovered

knick-knacks and meth.


All those days

I fished. I looked through

your rigging

to the ocean below

and the night

and you were the way

in the dark I could see.


Sierra Golden received her MFA in poetry from North Carolina State University. Winner of the program's 2012 Academy of American Poets Prize, Golden's work appears widely in literary journals such as Mid-American Review, Permafrost, and Ploughshares