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the white boat 75
Miniature in distance;
Wearing a dress, her long
Hair and long skirt blowing --
She sets out to work on deck
Without delay, bending
This way and that, cranking,
Lifting, rearranging --
Every movement practiced
And quick and unhurried.
Then the girl goes below,
Is all; her disappearance
As brisk as her other
Doings. The boat rocks, stays
Dark on the bay's paleness.
Then light at a porthole.
Night nears now, fi shermen
Heading in, clear voices
Come small over the fl ats,
Birds settling in, restless
Bustlings, creaky cries, some
Still feeding in tide pools.
The fi shermen arriving
Cut their motor and coast
On the quiet water
Of the small-boat basin,
Through the dark a man's voice
Sounds close in the stillness.
This is how it is here
And will and will not be
Again, these small doings