Honey Moon

by Charles Bane Jr.

palmbeachcardWe were married in the garden of my parent's home in Palm Beach and then hurried to a Norsea 26, the small sailboat my wife had purchased before our marriage, waiting at the dock on Palm Beach's Lake Trail. Nothing in the City of Light could promise to be more luminous than our island home.

Wild parrots, raucous and fast, lived in Palm Beach also. They had moved here from the south and formed a colony. When they landed at night in a park or neighboring tree, it was like emerald rain. I would go to Kay Rybovich's clapboard house along the Intracoastal Waterway in the early morning for coffee when I was growing up. She and her husband John had owned a marine works, and made fishing craft for Hemingway; Kay and John would motor them to Cuba, and she told me about fishing with the author and of marlin and swordfish that rose from the sea like gods.

Ann and I clambered aboard her boat, and lazed north. We stayed close to shore. If there were great shadows in the foliage and the shadows were silver and wet in the morning from brushing against leaves, they were Florida black bears. When they lumbered from their feeding place, spoonbills burst above the trees.

palmbeachstarsI wrote the poetry that was my work during the late afternoon. At dark, we looked for coves without other boats. We always found nursemaid bays that rocked the sailboat to sleep and kept in time to the private moments of newlyweds who would not be parted, or in the future, have a serious quarrel.

The Intracoastal Waterway pours into the Atlantic, and we could see its far edge from our deck. Late at night, we lost count of shooting stars, then realized they were masts, lighted on their tops, tilting on the waves. We did not venture into the open water, because we had just been married.

Florida owns a timepiece and there was a storm in the afternoon on our third day aboard. At three o'clock, moisture gathers over the Everglades and drifts south and north, filling aquifers and lanes of groves.

We knew from our barometer that it was only a passing storm and not the signal of a hurricane and we put slats over the cockpit and closed up like hibiscus that shutter at night.

Below, my arms were hers.

Charles Bane, Jr. is the author of The Chapbook (Curbside Splendor, 2011) and Love Poems (Aldrich Press, 2014). The Huffington Post described his work as "not only standing on the shoulders of giants, but shrinking them." A contributor to The Gutenberg Project, he is a current nominee as Poet Laureate of Florida.

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