The long drawl of the tide scrapes on the shingle

A wave picks at the pier's rotting ribs and teeth

There is a strut of ragged wood that

Ants have hollowed like woodpeckers

Left bloodless on the sand

A broken blue buoy

Hanging in a skein of broken nets

And one weary afternoon fisherman who

Paints with his slow brush

A green and red guardian

For the hull of his boat

Robert James Berry