The fisherman’s wife sat by the window as the sun set.
Her company was her mother’s furniture, an old rug, an oil lamp.
Her eyes sought out a familiar boat.
I’ll take a little of that, even when I’ve just gone to the store.
I could use you fearful of the weather, dreading the late hour.

A soul couldn’t stroll the hilly streets of a fishing village
without doffing a cap to a widow.
Each haggard woman was a reminder
that the storms were unforgiving,
that lives could end abruptly at sea
and interminably on shore.
So give me the attention of your frazzled nerves.
Don’t just love me but worry for me.
Even brief, insignificant separations have their hurricane season.

Most nights, relief came
in the bobbing lights of an incoming vessel.
It’d be laden down with a good day’s catch.
She’d watch it anchor and unload.
Then up the crooked street, he’d stride,
as chipper as the bright new moon.

Do you know what it’s like when your man
returns from seeming death, is resurrected?
Your heart leaps like a fish out of the water.
It goes fearlessly where there’s no breath.
Then it splashes down and breathes.

John Grey

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident, recently published in Stand, Santa fe Literary Review, and Sheepshead Review. Latest books, ”Between Two Fires”, “Covert” and “Memory Outside The Head” are available through Amazon. Work upcoming in the McNeese Review, La Presa and California Quarterly.