Eggs over light,
sausage, home fries, wheat
Monday ritual at the South Jersey diner.
Outside the window in the morning fog,
Route 30: a narrow river,
my river; me
a skinny boy of thirteen
paddling his homemade kayak,
slicing the water pretty as you please.
At the point the muddy river empties
into Chesapeake Bay,
an oyster boat appears low in the water,
Uncle Williard at the helm,
and in celebration of the day’s haul,
two crew members swing me into the bay.
I surface leaning on the star-
board rail of a navy destroyer escort,
dolphins racing us into Okinawa's harbor.
At the scream of a kamikaze that barely misses,
the dolphins disappear…
I’m alone on the Jersey boardwalk
studying the sea, counting
the waves that break and ripple to shore.
A noisy gull lights on the boardwalk;
we discuss things.
The fog lifts.
© Gene Williamson
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