All Things Seen

–after Peter Bain’s “Schooner in Harbor”

She only wants to see what others see:
The shore-men’s work arrested by the clock;
A scrim of light reflecting off the sea;
The gadgetry of ships in harbor dock.

The shore-men’s work arrested by the clock
Amplifies the silence underneath.
The gadgetry of ships in harbor dock
And pilings set like measures in repeat

Amplify this silence underneath
That she can’t help but know, its heart concealed
In pilings struck like measures in repeat.
To her the blank of all has been revealed.

Grace, Revisited

They groom one another in the late hour
of an afternoon, deft tongues addressing

foreheads, noses, cheeks, adjusting for fur
thickness and length, with its grain or against,

their ablutions leisured, deliberate,
miniature quills extended to release

the treasured oils that comb and lubricate,
this covenant to tender and appease

impromptu work. Absorbed in the cadence
of their task, untroubled when I appear

unexpectedly, their acknowledgement
is shifting weight, half-flicker of an ear,

and easeful eyes. They weave a rhythmic lure
of gentle to-and-fro as though beguiled