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Point of Reference

Having mapped the quadrants of his face
before the widening of pier and hull,
my view is now blocked by vans
and stenciled warnings on high metal walls;

and though I can't use the pylons
as a point of reference or watch gulls
playing dip-tag in the wind,
I know the ferry has left the dock
from the churn below and shimmy of cars.

It moves through the wind's wake, my hair
buffeted as I stand on this canyon deck heavy
with the smell of diesel and brine,
and echoed yawls from shiphands.

December 10, 2001

Donna Smith

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