I’ve been here all my days, he says
And from the lines on his face, the white of his hair
The tiny tremble of his leather strong hands
We can scarcely imagine how many years that might be

He tells us about the fishing fleet that sailed from here
How he started out on his father’s boat
Then sailed with brothers
Before one died and the other moved away
Until he was the only one left still sailing
Strong enough even now to put his hands in the cold waters
And see what he can pull out

He smiles when he tell us all this
As though to say he will be sailing here a few years yet
As though to say it will take something more than old age,
It will take something more profound than death
To move him away from this place

We could live for a hundred years and never have what he has
Our roots run shallow and thin
And the only footprints we leave sink softly into wet sand
Gone swiftly on the next wave


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