Not Looking Out to Sea (No Matter What Winslow Homer Says)
We were certainly not looking out to sea.
That should be obvious from the angle of our heads.
Besides, do we look like we’ve got either the time or
the inclination to stand gawping at the horizon like
a couple of tourists on holiday?
If you must know we were observing the pair of
colossal idiots who’d allowed their half-witted selves
to be stranded by the tide at the base of the cliff.
The rest of the men out earning an honest day’s wages
while these two daft twits play at treasure hunting.
And not even proper treasure. No, this pair of
credulous fools heard an old lie about a ship
sunk with a hold full of rum and, after last week’s
storm, they figured it might finally have broken up on
the shoals and let the barrels wash up on shore.
Their careful calculations, undertaken as they were by a
pair of numbskulls with no mathematical skills to speak of,
led them here to a stretch of beach reached easily from
the cove road at the ebb, but completely cut off when the tide
is high. A fact known by all but these two worthless gits.
You have to ask yourself at times like this if it might
not be better for the sea to just take them. Truly,
they might be our husbands but we’ve got no use
for them. Mary wondered how they’d managed
to lose their trousers. A fine question and a fair one.
It’s true we might have thrown down a length of rope
or alerted someone to their predicament. But with the tides
as they are today, they won’t likely make it home before midnight.
And if they happen to fall asleep, well then, it’s possible
we might not see them before Wednesday.
Tara Connor is a poet who lives in Portland, Maine. Her writerly interests include archaeology, feminism and motherhood. Tara works as a librarian, reads an absolute mishmash of books, and looks for humor in unlikely places. She loves cold weather and fog and, all things being equal, she’s just as soon be swimming. Visit her Substack newsletter, Poetical: https://connort.substack.com/
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