Pairs by Philip Booth

by Philip Booth

Years now, good days
more than half the year,

they row late afternoons
out through the harbor

to the bell, a couple
with gray hair, an old

green rowboat. Given sun,
their four oars, stroke

by stroke, glint wet,
so far away that even

in light air their
upwind voices barely

carry. No words translate
to us on shore, more

than a mile from where
they pull and feather.

All we hear is how,
like sea-ducks, they

seem constantly to
murmur. And even

after summer’s gone,
as they row out and

home, now and again
we hear, we cannot help

but hear, their years
of tidal laughter

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