SATURDAY AT BARTON COVE by Ted Scott

Leaning out over the water, like quivering antennae,
Each with its own small detector, tuned for a signal to come up the line.
Suddenly, a pull, a signal’s detected, promoted to a sharp shrill shriek.
The tiny creature is landed.
A crowd gathers round to join in the fun and the shrieking.
The hero pleads “Please, can I take it home?
It’ll be a good pet. I’ll feed it. Please, …”

But the mom puts her hand on his shoulder and says
“Let’s let it grow up. It won’t live if we take it.
Let’s give it a chance to get big.”
while Dad tries to unhook it, to throw it back in..
Then the crowd disperses, back to their stations,
and they wait for the next hero’s chance.

On the concrete ramp that divides the  long wall of children,
a big heavy boat tries to enter the lake, stirring up mud
from the wheels on its trailer, as a truck tries to back it all in.
Another boat waits in the lake for its friend,
making a deep loud gurgling sound, like the bikes at Daytona
when they’re just hanging around.

On a grassy spot, a few yards from shore,
a windsurfer is rigging her sail.
Like a sixteen foot wing from a giant dragonfly,
there’s a long curving bone at the front.
Behind, it’s tapered and thin, clear and bowed in the center,
with a spicy red edge all around.

The wing has no symmetry; it would need another to fly.
But by itself, pointing up, and attached to a board, its use is easy to see.
And with a good breeze, and a rider who knows what to do,
the board can go fast, as it skips along, with its nose in the air.
A sweet sight to see. Powered by wind, and guided by skill,
windsurfing can be such a thrill!

Now she’s done rigging and the children are leaving,
so she gets a spot for her launch.
She sees three power boats just lolling off shore
and making their gurgling sounds.
Why do they need so much power if they just want to be in my way?
The wind’s from the NNW direction,
so she needs to explore how it plays on the water.

She heads south to check out the shadow,
in the lee of the big wooded island of eagles.
She soon finds the best place. It’s east of the island,
where the wind gets forced through a channel,
and it’s easy to plane and go fast.

She explores the whole lake including the north,
where she finds some big floating leaves,
that can get in the way, but there’s no sign of milfoil today.
It’s not tall enough yet, to fill up the lake,
like it does at the end of the summer.
Now she’s ready to leave, so she takes a plunge,
and the water’s cool but not cold.

She wishes there was more of a beach, where she might bring
the grandkids to swim one day.
As she sails back to shore and separates her rig from the board,
there’s a gathering of geese nearby.
They turn their long necks for a look, and they mumble a bit,
then they go back to work for their dinner, picking out food in the grass.

Like the people before them, it’s a family event,
with six tall adults and twenty-two chicks.
And just like those others, they pay no attention to her,
as she packs up her sail, just ten yards away.

This poem was published in tales & TREASURES A Senior Sampler coordinated by Anita Phillips, Staff Writer, The Recorder   2011 Haley’s

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One comment on “SATURDAY AT BARTON COVE by Ted Scott

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