PALMETTO POEM: It’s the Journey That Counts

By Ann Herlong-Bodman, special to CharlestonCurrents       

Standing at the cockpit door, you told me,
……….Let’s go. Let’s sail beyond
How far beyond, I asked as we glided through the harbor.
Rusty boats at anchor, lines tightening like a noose.

Remember when the storm smacked us into a trough
and we jibed? You threw the tiller over and I
yanked at the mainsail.
……….I didn’t know it would be so hard.

Remember the flash of lightning when I scrambled for a place
between here and there, and you asked,
………………..Looking for a safe spot to blame someone else?

But the weather settled, we corrected course, and when a boat
passed with a woman at the helm of her own boat, you said,
 ………………………… I can see the girl she once was.

Once I swore I would leave no island untouched.
Once I wrote that I would catch the stars.
 ………………………… Who’s to say I wouldn’t stumble?

This is how it how it happens. One sail after another.
Life moves on and we sail out of ourselves. Hiss alon
 ………………………… on someone else’s compass course: drift
 ………………………… ……….behind a boat blaring Bolero.

Ann Herlong-Bodman lives in Mount Pleasant and no longer lives on a sailboat—doesn’t even own one anymore but can’t resist writing about her sailing days and living aboard her boat in Ashley Marina. This poem is from her collection, “Loose in Far-away Places,” recently published by Press 53.

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