Poets Corner: Oak Bluffs


We joked the antique dealers on Menemsha

bought new oars in October for no more

than twenty dollars, let them weather

on the beach all winter to ply the waters

of their marked up summer trade.

Their wind swept shack

bespoke the faux authentic

where antiques go to collect themselves

like winter buoys drawn to summer tide lines,

artifacts cut off from their life’s creel.

One fallen, silvered shingle oozing tar

could be there all summer if the sales

are slow or if the caretakers have gone

down the road that earns them a short stay

from having to foreclose upon their own

way of making, as a farmer does,

a living from one season all year long.

Between the high end dealers of past lives

and those who keep the current in repair,

all live the life they came to leave behind.

Jim Lowell is a winter mainlander and summer Cuttyhunk poet whose works have appeared in The Canadian Review of Literature, English, The Caribbean Writer and elsewhere.