“After Morning Muster”

by John Davis

(“After Morning Muster” mobile version)

The chief is filling his coffee cup,
joking, telling the one about the nun
drunk in the confessional booth. This week
she’s swallowing vodka. Last week, Scotch.
Peterson, a seaman, is polite enough
to laugh, hoping he won’t get
the graveyard watch.

Beyond the cove the sea holds
our stories, whitecaps as high as the horizon.
A 45-footer hauls in the survivors
of a purse seiner. 5-foot, 10-foot,
20-foot waves. He gives his head
a wet dog shake. Even when we are dry
we are in the water.