Friday, July 22, 2011

Poem of the Month - Surfer Joe

Surfer Joe
by Betty Dobson

Each day you roll
past on your spindly bike
weaving along the pebbled road,
your vision
straight as a spoke. 

Where do your eyes lead? Away
from your smoke-gray shack and red-
blanket curtain over plastic

You first appeared
a twilight apparition
draped in rough crimson,
leaning on your sill
as I hid behind mine.

You still don't see me.

Your eyes must aim inward,
back to the beached Sixties,
counting on waves for an afternoon
trip. Weed in the night
carried your dreams of water-
wheels rolling

until the air leaked out.
They couldn't hold the path like you
or swallow the salt-water
vow.  Ten years
spent waiting then selling
what little you had
for a Florida reunion
of one.

Sold out, you crawled back
home.  Abandoned
vans and soft-hearted neighbors
held you loosely.

Now you ride by like a desert surfer,
in and out on the hour.
If I follow you out, where
will I find you?  Alone
on the dock, watching
your weed-grayed

reflection.  A derelict
boat wallows in the shallows,
engine rusted and
bones slowly
in a negligent embrace.

If you enjoyed "Surfer Joe" and want to read more of my poetry, please consider buying a copy of Paper Wings.

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