Poet’s Corner: Before Christmas on Cuttyhunk


By Jim Lowell

Now the wind has swung

from Uncatena to Noman’s

and the trawlers are in Quick’s Hole

throbbing toward their haul.

On the deserted dock one gull

with one leg and one hungry eye

remembers a summer of bounty

when he snubbed crumbs.

Fred is in repose. His fingers

play his beard like a pan flute

while he awaits the Cuttyhunk ferry

whether it is Monday or Friday.

Donny is in the cab

of his barge-borne crane

lining up another piling

to be whaled into the muddy bottom.

On one trawler’s deck a young man

who only speaks Portuguese

is learning the names of things

he knows by heart, not by language.

Jim Lowell is a winter mainlander and summer Cuttyhunk poet whose

works have appeared in the Canadian Review of Literature, English,

Caribbean Writer, and elsewhere.