by Betty Dobson
Each day you rollpast on your spindly bike
weaving along the pebbled road,
straight as a spoke.
Where do your eyes lead? Awayfrom your smoke-gray shack and red-
blanket curtain over plastic
You first appeareda 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-
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
Sold out, you crawled backhome. 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
reflection. A derelictboat wallows in the shallows,
engine rusted and
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.