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NIGHT WATCH OFFSHORE

 

Another watch

this one evening to past three am

so darkness

mostly, distant refineries flare.

Tacoma to Powell River, British Columbia.

I should be good at this.

Twenty-two years of sailing on my license

six years before that to earn it.

What do you think about?

How do you stay awake?

Do you listen to the radio or

books on tape?

No.

I keep an ear on the VHF,

eyes toward the radar.

Half sunk logs, fishing boats.

Container ships on auto.

Night watches are

for dreams and memories

chewed over and tasted again.

Freckled shoulders and sunburn.

Kerosene lamps. Landjaeger.

Regrets

plus old bitter coffee

keep me up all night.

Travis Stephens, 56, lives in Malibu, California. He works as a tugboat captain. Contact Travis @ captts1@aol.com

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