waiting for the 6 a. m. ferry – a memory

across the bay at the Battery five miles away
I could see mounds of fog rolling from the mouths
of the narrow East River and the wider Hudson
they made a rampart of opaque white
the rest of the bay was clear of mist
the bay’s waters were a dull greenish gray
the clouds without a seam were nailed up in the sky
like old tin-plate ceilings grayed over with grime
but the wall of mist near the Battery was lustrous white
a natural candor on the morning tide

how I wished to be there on deck
to pierce that barrier of vapor
to sense  out there  how sharp or supple
was the boundary between clarity and haze
but the boat was late and by the time
we set off across the bay   the far off scene
dissolved itself into a dew
in the twenty minutes it takes
ferry boats to reach Manhattan’s shore
to not see again what we’d never glimpsed before

*    *   *

© Gregory V Driscoll  2014

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