In the harbor, shining
emerald slab, red and plum whorls
interlaced, the grooved frequencies
of ancient trade routes.
I would come back with notepad and winejug,
my claim staked with a braid of kelp,
How can I know now
if it’s slipped back to sea
or perhaps never been there at all,
like the young balladeer.
her voice whorled with sadness
old as fishwives and spicewives,
I once heard, thought I heard,
halfway down Shop Street in Galway.
-Ragged Island, Maine