salt wind

by an'ya

(Published in the Japan Tanka Journal 2005)


in pre-­dawn light

from the fishing pier we board

a deep ­sea vessel

whose scrawny old skipper

still calls himself "popeye"


after each storm

but before the breakwater

just two shipmates

hunting for buried treasure

with souls the likes of pirates


in my coat pocket

the photograph of a man

on his coast guard horse

patrolling the beach along

this california shoreline


all these memories

carried out to sea as I

lean into salt wind

the brevity of my youth

on father's musty ashes

(for my dad, Andrew B)