The Quay at Wexford
Jeffrey C. Alfier
Footpaths shouldered by boundary
walls, townscape funneled to harbor,
a storm petrel blown inland by weather
portent to sailors. I discover in the compass
of a stranger’s voice the bearing
to the water, the sea in the city’s hands.
The blue-gray sky is a torn quilt conceding
a damp shaft of dawnlight to crumbled
berths and ramps along the Ferrybanks
where gulls feather the mudflats. Here is late
spring leaning against doors in prevailing winds.
The sun wants to breach clouds, spread
its balm over shadows that walkers drag
across the quay. Someone heaves a hawser
ashore. Pennants on masts stiffen in a breeze.
A man paints his daughter’s name on the stern
of his boat. Circled back to the seawall,
the petrel builds its home in our derelict stone.
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