The Shop

In the musty brown liquor shop
rare dusty bottles on their sides
   faded labels
and a wizened white bearded mariner
   the proprietor of the shop
who knew me, at least by face,
   showing me bottles of particular value, good deals,
      interesting bottles
   as though I had, at least for special occasions
      sometimes bought expensive liquor there
who knew me well
   as one who, though not rich,
      though not an important collector
         could appreciate a rare bottle or bargain
My new son was there in his carriage
   my three old brothers were also there
waiting for me in the shop, sometimes passing me
      in silence, looking at dust covered bottles
   faded curiosities
our young parents were not there, but
   my wife was there waiting patiently by the carriage as I
carefully surveyed the wares
   three black dolphins
      their backs arching at once
from some harsh nether world of a sea
   into soft light like a small ship
      at the horizon, where the sun turns orange
to these old eyes, a small black ship
   with three black sails, in the
      placid undulation


A small black ship sails near the horizon
   shining orange to these old eyes
      with three black sails
it’s called “the three dolphins”
      it lives in this dream
   like a family of drifters passing

-September 21, 2007-