Last night we motored, then we sailed again,
first on our Fugle, mammoth twin V-8s
threading the intracoastal’s red/green gates,
then on our Sabre, strong seafaring men,
Alan’s leukemia not lymphoma yet,
his belly not yet bloated like a ball.
Under the Tuttle Bridge we heeled the tall
top hamper of our navy sloop and met
oncoming power boats that yielded way.
Then we steered seaward out of Biscayne Bay.
It is about ten years since last I sailed,
not even Alan’s Hobie. Memory
comes creaming back, turbulent on my lee.
We brush each headland that we ever nailed
and dream of every mountain pass we scaled.
Born in 1951, Timothy Murphy grew up in the Red River Valley of the North. He studied at Yale University under Robert Penn Warren, graduating (B.A.) as Scholar of the House in Poetry in 1972. Afterwards, he farmed and hunted in the Dakotas until his death from cancer in June, 2018. His previous collections of poetry are The Deed of Gift, Story Line Press, 1998, Very Far North, Waywiser Press, 2002, Mortal Stakes | Faint Thunder, The Dakota Institute, 2011, Hunter’s Log, The Dakota Institute, 2011, and Devotions, North Dakota State University Press, 2017. His memoir in verse and prose, Set the Ploughshare Deep, was published by Ohio University Press in 2002. With his late partner, Alan Sullivan, he translated the Beowulf, which AB Longman published in 2004.
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