SEPTEMBER

 

We circled and socialized around the pool table

Much like we would later circle and socialize around the fire

My eyes settled on the back of her neck

Her long brownish blond hair was up on top of her head in a haphazard ball

Leaving the back of her neck wonderfully exposed

I have always been impulsive

Throw in a beer or two, and I am dangerously impulsive

The next thing I knew I was placing a long delicious kiss on the back of her neck

She froze

Simply froze

She did not flinch

She did not crack me in the head with the pool cue

She simply did not make a move

She was wearing blue jean overalls

Faded

A little stained

How could I not notice the quick-release snaps?

The whole package made me think of whole grains

Hay fields

Tractors

Horses running together across an open pasture

It was spring

Springtime in Valdez Alaska

My mind was having difficulty reconciling the baseball on the TV with the five-foot snow banks outside the open door

We - the crew - had been on the ship for four and a half months

We all had been together for most of that time

What might have been?

What would have been?

What could have been?

We will never know

Because the barkeep placed his palm over the phone and gestured to me

“Pete, they just called for the tugs”

I did not care

Did I mention it was springtime?

Did I mention I had been on the ship four and a half months?

She finally turned

With a delicious huge flushed smile

She leaned into me

“I think he is talking to you”

Calmer more sensible heads than mine prevailed

In the blink of an eye we were sliding around corners in a cab towards the dock

 

The sun feels absolutely delightful on the tanned leather of my face

The crisp clarity

The dryness

Of late September is also delightful

 

I can feel myself waiting

When I close my eyes I see swirls of color

I hear the light steps, and feel the open palm on my bare ample belly

A voice like a silver spoon tapping crystal makes me smile

 

“I know you are awake”