Poets Corner: Island Painters


Island Painters

Yes, I called two others

They came to give me estimates

but never showed up to work

On ‘Island-time’ no doubt

Probably went fishing with Janet

casting their lines on the open sea

preferring their rods to a heavy sander on a hot ladder

Who can blame them?

I wasted two summers


while my trim flaked to the bare wood

This year I got lucky

Nick Huff showed up

albeit a few months later

but none the less here

with all his ladders, brushes and fillers

sanders, tarps and scrapers

got right to the task

braved the long ladder up to the high peaks

despite summer heat and glare

This morning

a bee darted from the cornice

and stung him on the cheek

The ice pack eased his pain

but his eyelid still swelled

and the work day ended early

As he headed back up to Aquinnah

I couldn’t help thinking

what a gift it is to know

like the calm after a storm

Nick will return

Ruth Major

Ruth Major, an oil painter and writer, is working on a collection of poems called “Islander.”

The Martha’s Vineyard Times welcomes contributions to Poet’s Corner. Dan Waters, former poet laureate of West Tisbury, will select poems to be published here. Submissions should be directed to dan@indianhillpress.com.