They might be sisters, but they are not out scouting
for some picturesque picnic spot on Whitley Sands.
The red-scarfed woman isn't clutching a blanket;
she hand-knotted that net, and the basket
the auburn-haired one pins against her hip
is the creel for herring they hope their men
will haul up when they return. Those fists
planted on the fishwives' windward hips
hold this world up. They rose before sunrise
to bait lines with sand-worms, then waded
into waves to launch flat-bottomed cobles.
Now the harder work after the work begins.
They stand on the cliff and scan the sea for skiffs.
They have worried pre-dawn fog away, weakened
the chop to allow boats to beach. Breezes have dried
their flannel skirts, while the women wait, watch, wait.
A graduate of the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast MFA Poetry Program, David Sloan teaches at Maine Coast Waldorf High School in Freeport. His debut poetry collection—The Irresistible In-Between—was published by Deerbrook Editions in 2013. His poetry has appeared in The Café Review, Chiron Review, Down East, Innisfree, Lascaux Review, Moon City Review, Naugatuck River Review, New Millenium Writings and Passager, among others. He received the 2012 Betsy Sholl Award, Maine Literary awards in 2012 and 2016, The Margaret F. Tripp Poetry Award, and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He is currently enjoying life's latest delight—grandfatherhood!
The Ekphrastic Review
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