Coming into Cuttyhunk


by Margaret Emerson

mooring ball beckons

sail ends

go around

get into position

miss it

go around again

mooring ball bobbing

winking eye

time to retry

angle is off

approach wide

close but not


so go by

one more try

standing at the bow

boat hook in hand

waving to David

hope it lands

grab it

hold it

secure the line

safe at harbor

this time fine

fellow sailor motions

come for a drink

get into the dinghy

for a neighborly clink

two guys are baffled

at our casual approach

what’s your secret

how do ya do it

we expected a quarrel

to be honest

it’s all part

of life

that’s all

new boat

new marriage

new mooring ball

Since retiring as a professor of nursing at Northeastern University, Margaret Emerson lives in Chilmark, where she pursues her passions for painting and poetry.