Shea Shanty

Affix on me your stern and stiff attention,
Approach me with sail wide open
To meet and ride my undulations.

I teach to you a cunning prow-
ess. I see the wooden figurehead.
I’ll break myself upon your bow.

Not wishing to mar possible futures
I dipped my oars most carefully
Into the drama as it unfolded.

Amour, they say, can be tough-
The hardest row to hoe.
Many’s the hardy maid lost
In an arid landscape where
No one can render aid.

So at the end of my arm
I rowed mostly the air.
Anyway I rammed your craft.
You felt it like a raid
On your territory.

Now you’d be rid of me, and
I’d need to find a new berth.

I am your opened ground, the fertility.
I heave, I come to be with you.
I’m big to hold it all and
I hold it all.
I hold you all.

© 2004 by Joy St. John Johnson. All rights reserved. Content may not be copied or used in whole or part without written permission from the author.

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