by Taylor Schaefer
The Skimmer slips from the pier at dawn.
Your father’s hand-me-down sweatshirt sleeves
fisted at your wrists to protect tender palms from the chill
of dip net. Follow the line just under the surface, remember
your father’s hand-me-down sweatshirt sleeves
rolling past hook-scarred forearms. Rock with the weight
of dip net, follow the line just under the surface. Remember,
splash and they’ll backfin. You watch for blue-smudged brackish
rolling past the hook. Scarred forearms rock with the weight
of a catch. Pass it back. Dip gently—
splash and they’ll backfin you. Watch for blue-smudged brackish.
Warm your bones with a sip of cheap coffee. Before
a catch, pass it. Back, dip gently
for the wake of another, passing. The sun is here again,
warm your bones. With a sip of cheap coffee, before
you turn back seconds, pray it will be enough
for the wake of another passing. The son is here. Again,
the Skimmer slips from the pier. At dawn
you turn back seconds. Pray. It will be enough.
Fist your wrists to protect tender palms from this chill.
Taylor Schaefer is a student at Salisbury University and Fiction Editor on their literary magazine The Scarab. She is a lover of poetry, and tries to make work that either pulls and pulls at something deep inside or hands out black eyes like candy. Her previous works have also appeared or are forthcoming in Poetry South, Stonecoast Review, Santa Clara Review, The Shore and Polaris Literary Magazine.