Poet’s Corner: Again


Six lobster pots

Lifted from the bay

By the captain, orange gloved

With foul weather gear to match

He checks his catch

No luck

Toward the jetty

He steers his boat

Wide beamed and modest

Replenishes the bait

Attaches steel traps

To a long line

Drops them one by one

Off the starboard side

They fall in full attention

Like soldiers awaiting orders

The captain looks to the sky

Clouds above the bay

Wind out of the east, blowing west



A good sign

One eider black and white

Floats on top of the gray water

Catches the breeze

Surveys the troops

Dips his head down under

Dives for shellfish

A good sign

The traps now ready


To catch what the tide brings

Ellie Bates resides in Edgartown. She has been involved in student and adult writing for more than 35 years. Her nonfiction work, personal essays, and poetry have been published in Island journals Martha’s Vineyard Writing and Refocus. She is currently involved with the Howes House Writers, Cleaveland House Poets, and Featherstone Center for the Arts.