Arabella

I distracted my father yesterday by taking him to find the people building a boat in Granby. It inspired some writing, that may or may not be poetry:

In the arch of the shed built for her
 ribs reach up, inverting and echoing the arch of the roof, 
built truth of the suggestions on paper
 each one a balance of ideal line 
 and the reality of the materials at hand
 balanced on her keel, propped by trees 
from the woodlot behind the house, 
 and more of these trees, neighborhoods felled for this 
 form the bellied center, the eager bow, the solid and comfortable stern

  planked only part way yet, the final outline is visible
 even to an untutored eye
 In answer to his questions, the man replies
 "38 feet, two masts, ketch, gaff rig"
 to my father who cannot remember if he asked, 
 or what the answer was

 From this I can sketch in the rest of this boat, 
 imagine her at sea, sails tall against the sky, 
 masthead pennant streaming
 and in one short leap I can helm her, 

 I stand there in my minds eye, confident, relaxed, delighted
 and feel some ease I had not before
 "38 feet, two masts, ketch, gaff rig" he says again, 
 a look askance at me, is this right? his eyebrows ask
 I nod, and answer in turn
 "38 feet, two masts, ketch, gaff rig"
 leaving him to return to work, to make this skeletal dream
 a floating surging reality

You can see their progress at Acorn to Arabella – they describe each step, and put out regular videos showing progress, and things they’ve learned. The person I spoke with was exquisitely kind, even though I was distracting him in the middle of something, and he was patient with my Da’s repeated questions. We admired the progress and slipped away again into the blustery day to find some lunch, but it made a huge impression on me.