Then sometimes you’ll think of boat-houses,

shacks built over a cut in the river bank,

and of sculls and skiffs – and you’ll think

of paddles and fenders and boathooks—

of short shorts and long legs, and the vee,

the wake spreading back over the water;

and about Doctor Moore who shopped for ten years

by rowing a tough mile upstream with all his bags.


But more than these you’ll think just,

of the boathouses and their rugged But more than these you’ll think just

impermanence, and the men who built them,

and the peculiar idea of building a wooden

shack over the water, to house a shell

in the slop-slopping darkness and padlock the gate.

from A Good Time (Smith/Doorstop, 2010) , © Gerard Benson 2010, used by permission of the author.

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