Jack Ross Knutson

Sailor's Wife

Whore, such a disparaging term not used by honest sailors
She’s a sailor’s wife with as pure a love I’d ever known
I picked her because her eyes were calm
without malice or cunning
only a mutual tension  reflected 
soon to be fulfilled

She loved me like a tired wife
without animosity or demand
I slipped between her like a fish in the sea
She made no attempt to keep me

The comfort was lonely and I asked how she felt
About what, she said.
You child she smiled
island cinnamon accent  echoing off
Her pearl black skin

I put the money on her hungry table
Surreptitiously more than we agreed
I left late and the bouncer nodded 
with his boulder-rock shoulders rippling like a wave

When I got back the ship was still there
It reminded me of her
Waiting with a lonely comfort
Like a tired wife with a hungry table
Warm moonlight echoing off the pearl black water
Without animosity or demand
With as pure a love I’d ever known