Old Boats

A poem by Theodosia Garrison

I saw the old sea captain in his city daughter's house,
Shaved till his chin was pink, and brushed till his hair was flat,
In a broadcloth suit and varnished boots and a collar up to his ears.
(I'd seen him last with a slicker on and a tied down oilskin hat.)

And it happened that I went home last June, and saw in Mallory's yard
The old red dory that sprung a leak a couple of years ago,
Dragged out of good salt water and braced to stand in the grass
And be filled with dirt from stem to stern, where posies and such could grow.

Painted to beat the band, with vines strung over the sides
And red geraniums in the bow,--a boat that was built for water
Made into a flower garden. I looked, but I didn't laugh,
For I thought of the old sea captain living in town with his daughter.

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