tires on boats we know are bumpers

tires on boats we know are bumpers

big lights on strings would make Edison proud

though strings don’t touch electricity

and strings catching shrimp should be elementary


the shrimpman’s story is one to know

red tides do flow, dark winds sure blow

and this town of boats with fishing light

fight the night nets with all their might


“Amigo, only footpaths and sandclocks

mothers milk packed in plastic socks

and a big stone cross on a cliff

make us cry.”


a superstitious lot

they curse the strings

and love the knots

work all night, sleep

not yet

but troll the deep

to fill their net


finger-worn rosary beads

a wife and kids

with mouths to feed

“We better scrape the bottom, men

fill our hold

and say, ‘amen’, when

they’re sold.”


tires on boats we know are bumpers

big lights on strings

strings catching things

like pinky-gray Pacific plumpers


“Gracias, God

for Gringos

that love a plateful of shrimp

so I can have a pocketful

of pesos.”

About troysherdahl

A blue-collar bohemian with a penchant for fine words and dirty jeans.
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