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Far From the Shoreline

by Robyn Radcliffe

The fishing boats
In Hangberg
Are handcuffed
They hang
On the edge
Of ramshackle housing
Rebuffed by the buffering
Mountainous scenery
Shackled and sedentary
They are reluctant sentries
Forced to observe
This ‘hoods iniquity
Far from the shoreline.

They feel foreign
Grass and gravel
Are not their
Natural habitat
They yearn to undulate
Against the tides
Being steered aptly
Through currents
The solid weight
Of salt sprayed
Humans at the helm
Keeping them company
From coast to coast.

They burn for the ocean of indigo
On overcast days they greet the grey
Trawls hauled into the deck
Fishermen flecked with droplets
Dappled in reflected sunlight
Instead, they have to learn
Not to long for gentle rocking
On the balmy calm
Or the swish and sway
Of waters tickling their sides.

They are dismal
On the dry
Land does not bode well
For their living
They dream of days gone by
Untethered and able
To help put bread on the table.