Tethered Boat

In the darkness a boat tethered,

coils of rope wrap creosote piling.

Nautical knots tight to secure the

craft from drifting away with tide,

waves gently slap against the bow.


Too early for gulls to perch and call

a plaintive cry, too early for the old

man to load fishing poles for morning’s

catch, too early for moon set and

stars to shut their light.


A woman raises a second floor shade

to look at the seepage of dawn.

Raccoon scudders along a bulkhead,

masked bandit stealing from darkness.

Glimmer of headlights pausing at


the stop sign and engine revving.

Air wet with morning dew breathes

through window screens. Inhale the

lifeblood of the sea drowning in

memory, letting go, letting go—


unraveling the frayed and tethered

rope, letting corded strands slip into

the sea, falling into muck and mud,

the rope leaving a disappearing trail

on outgoing tide. Bend over the side.


Hang hand over hand blackening

your fingers, pull the rope onboard.

Sit back, bow slick with rushing tide

and let the morning come.


Lorraine Walker Williams


About the poem: Early morning writing begins with keen observation incorporating details so the reader experiences the sensory images as the poem evolves. In this case, the external movement illuminates the internal “letting go.”


This poem is from my latest book: Split Poems which may be found at local bookstores and on amazon.com.