by Scott Owens
You start with unspeakable excitement,
anticipation of what might be seen.
You stand in line with countless others,
some exchanging stories of times past,
rumors of what is yet to come,
most simply silent, uncertain,
still afraid of being in the wrong
place, of missing the boat, of judgment.
Pull of tide, squawk and flap
of ubiquitous birds, groan of rope
around capstan. Of course there are sights
and sounds, long-legged willets along the shore,
blast of the horn, an occasional dolphin,
flute of wind in your ear, the uncommon
gannet, but, for most, the waiting itself
is delicious, the real stuff of life.
Everything else becomes routine.
At the other end, nothing,
a ferryman, an abandoned island, angels
with mosquito wings, bored with heat.
Graduate of the UNCG MFA program, co-editor of Wild Goose Poetry Review, and author of “Musings,” a weekly poetry column in Outlook, Scott Owens is the 2008 Visiting Writer at Catawba Valley Community College. His first full-length collection of poetry, The Fractured World, was published in August by Main Street Rag. He is also the author of two chapbooks–The Persistence of Faith (1993), from Sandstone Press, and Deceptively Like a Sound (Dead Mule, 2008). A third chapbook, The Book of Days, will be published by Dead Mule in January. Scott Owens’ poems have appeared in Georgia Review, North American Review, Poetry East, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Cimarron Review, Greensboro Review, Chattahoochee Review, Cream City Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, and Cottonwood, among others. Born in Greenwood, SC, he now lives in Hickory, NC, where he teaches and coordinates the Poetry Hickory reading series.