A boat is docked

left, as though forgotten,

   as the burnt-orange sun sets.


It is a single, perhaps 2-person-tops,

kind of boat.

    It’s sails all folded

     The line to the dock

         not near as strong

            as the anchor line.


But later tonight

it will be used.


In the middle of the night a figure appears.


The old man

shuffles unhurriedly

his arthritic fingers

laboring to unravel

  the dock line.

Once done, he stands,

turns slightly each way

    as though looking to cross the street.


Finally, and almost suddenly

he flicks the line on deck.

His fingers fidget amongst each other

as he turns again, slightly, each way.

He is alert.

He looks up, catching me out of the corner of his eye.

He stares for a few moments

then seems to realize something.

He turns back to his boat,

looks out to sea

then carefully

gingerly, even

steps on the deck.

Begins to haul the anchor and

unfurl the sails

Each task taking

quite some time.


Finally, he gets ready to set sail

And surprisingly

turns my way

          and waves!


I am puzzled

until he is far

beyond earshot.

As I turn away to finally leave,

I realize

    he is my Father.