Bare-Naked Mornings upon Dew-Beaded Decks
He climbs into the deckhouse, I stand on the dock.
Our boxes and gear cause her to rock.
He checks what he checks; I do the same
Then we meet in the deckhouse, saloon, by name.
We take a deep breath, as deep as will go.
It is only just now that we can sure know.
We breathe in that smell, the smell of a boat
Of oil and mahogany that we know so by rote.
Before we wash down and make up the bunks
We must know, must smell, must sense any funk.
For now is the time, before much else,
To know if decay has made home for itself.
But there’s no mistake, no deny’n’;
She’s made through the winter, the winter just fine.
He scampers up top and I to the stern.
To see if in the engine fire will burn.
He pumps the throttle no more than enough.
The oil is cold and the starter is stuff.
He checks his gauges and again turns the key.
And to my delight what do I see?
She sputters and spits for more than a minute
Long ‘nough for me to fear something’s in it.
Then all of a sudden as if awoke from a nap,
Out of that hole’s that been none but a gap,
She exudes a long belch which trickles to trace,
Before full-on discharge announces, “Winter’s erased!”
The starboard follows through as we hoped it would doon.
Now summer can come; we look for it soon.