On Seeing his boat for the first time

Let’s just say that if his boat were a man

at weekends it would wear socks with holes

a good thick wool guernsey

ragged at the stubbled neck

against a soft, overwashed shirt collar.

If his boat were a man

it would have hammers and tape measures

in abundance, own chipped mugs,

drink dark brewed coffee

fragrant with the smell of engine oil.

If his boat were a man

It would never fear bad weather

be unsinkable except in love

and sing while it worked

a steady chugging tune

of dreams and hopes.

Rain would curl its brow

and glisten on the shoulders

of a work-worn coat whose pockets sag

with string and rusted nails.

If this man standing beside me, were a boat

he would have silk sails and a hull of oak

and I would climb aboard

and set to sea without a second thought.


Amanda Hodgkinson