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Joy: Exitus-Reditus

Pamela Smith

It’s the turquoise morning when sails hoist to wind
ideal in direction and knots, when piloting is the ease
of an oft-told family saga and the sighting
of the spa, the rest, the paradise long sought.

It’s a becalming, too, with plenty of foodstuffs,
a stillness with water that lasts, blessedly saltless,
sport on deck and dolphin laugh,
a pause without death or albatross.

It’s also the eye of wild storm, the wash
to an isle not unlike that of Prospero, Ariel, Caliban,
but this marooning in a spot that bears no human
                                     tracework in the sand,
just drag of turtle and tiny scratch of tern.

Then, after every ride and rescue,
it’s that slowing circle of return
to one known, rough, weathered dock,
to sighing anchorage and thick rope knot.

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