Across Kachemak Bayblack mountains rise like judgmenttowering above the inlet, blackstreaked with snow. Black,white. Nothing in between.
When suddenly like a phantomfloating across the water,a fishing boat chugs past, and therewe are again, chugging out of Freeportwith Captain Charlie. Little familybundled up against the cold.
And it must be close to noonfor there’s Mother doling outthe egg-salad sandwiches loadedwith lettuce for health and greengood fortune. The bay too, a greenbounty crowned by white flashesof gulls skimming low over the sternto eye what the wake churned up.And look, there at the rail, chummingfor fish, that’s my father, roaringhis smutty songs with mother laughingbecause they were in the open airand free to let themselves be—Ohdare I say it—happy. What differenceif the fluke or flounder weren’t biting, [End Page 158]
for wasn’t it fluke enough their beingat peace for just this once? On the scalesof judgment, shouldn’t that day—snatchedfrom the angry current of the rest—count?Add up to something? That day when the gullsweighed in, balancing the light on their wings. [End Page 159]
Alice Friman ’s sixth full-length collection is The View from Saturn (LSU). Her previous collection is Vinculum (LSU), for which she won the 2012 Georgia Author of the Year Award in Poetry. She is a recipient of a 2012 Pushcart Prize, is included in Best American Poetry 2009, and won the 2016 Paumanok Award. She’s been published in Poetry, the Georgia Review, Ploughshares, the Gettysburg Review, the Southern Review, New Letters, and many others, as well as in thirteen other countries. Friman lives in Milledgeville, GA, where she is Poet-in-Residence at Georgia College. Her podcast, Ask Alice, can be seen on YouTube. Visit www.alicefriman.com