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On a Jetty

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Four boys carefully place their calloused feet on a jagged rock

Toeing out into the sun-danced lagoon;
They sit, they laugh.
Small reef-fish dart: red, yellow, orange.
Boys reclining in the white afternoon.

A thick balm of ripe guava and banana wafts
and mingles with dry brine.
The loafing glide of an eagle ray catches a pair
of boy's eyes,
He smiles, ivory teeth simpering from sun-browned skin.
The blunt-nosed ray trails its barbed tail, flops its
fins in the water.
The lithe boy lifts a sharp delicate staff, several times
his height;
A quick jerk sends the smooth vibrating shaft deep past
sandpaper hide and through cartilage.

The delta-winged fish slowly flaps at the end of the pole.
A quick tug dislodges the spear,
And movement ceases.
In the late afternoon, an acetylene sun sears
distinction between sky and sea;
Lapping reflections: sapphires and emeralds.
Four boys recline, gaze out towards the horizon.

©1990 chris abraham

Mar 11, 1990 04:15 PM