On the Lookout
for my dead wife, I wait. Nicoline, coming in on a Viking galley, escaped from that Valhalla encampment breaking the horizon. Barely, I see her on deck, blonde bubble braid twisting in the wind, while she bolsters the bow, warrior-woman escaped to return, one foot planted on the prow, a vascular forearm across her breasts, like a Norse shield. She has forsaken Odin for her lost love, ready to reign again alongside me on this Lookout Throne, ready to crest any wave, no matter its undertow.
What do they want, these pot-hatted lay-abouts lining the sea’s lip, each a beached walrus? They await the salmon boats, that’s what they want—the fish, the smell of the fish, taste, the money for the fish, the cold aquavit before and after the fish boil. Their lives are full bellies, sand filled clog boots, and a knock on the door at midnight.
Mike Lewis-Beck writes from Iowa City. He has pieces in American Journal of Poetry, Apalachee Review, Blue Collar Review, Cortland Review, Chariton Review, Eastern Iowa Review, Ekphrastic Review, Guesthouse, Heavy Feather Review, Inquisitive Eater, Pilgrimage, Pennine Platform, Southword, and Wapsipinicon Almanac, among other venues. He has a book of poems, Rural Routes, published by Alexandria Quarterly.
The Ekphrastic Review
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