Author’s Note: “While on sailing trip on the Chesapeake Bay, I became interested in nautical knots. Their use. Their names. Their configurations. The Anchor Hitch led me here.”
A Knot That Holds
Another husband to bury, and not yet 60.
Sleepless, the dogs can’t settle down,
whining in their crates, waiting for him
to slip them a biscuit.
Even the mailman knows and offers
condolences with a check⎯widow’s pay.
No comfort there.
He was my second, a sailor from the Eastern Shore.
Old house and boats, a garden of perennials and three Terriers
kept us busy. Good with his hands, he’d strip
and hand polish century-old pine plank floors
because, as he said, they’re worth it.
I was good with the finances.
Paying bills the old-fashioned way.
Managing the 401ks. For the day when there were no more
houses to rehab. No more mainsails to mend
or climbing Don Juans to prune.
That day arrived creeping like smoke,
filling the room until he couldn’t breathe.
This was the spring he was to teach me
to sail the Cape Dory and settle 18 years of debate
over the faster boat⎯sloop or yawl;
the perfect cove⎯Monie Bay or Goose Creek;
the knots that hold⎯Figure Eight,
Constrictor, Double Overhand.
I thought I had perfected the Anchor Hitch,
two round turns back through the carabiner,
snugly tied and set, a knot that holds
even as tension on the line changes.
Maryland writer Ann LoLordo’s poetry has appeared in Southern Poetry Review, The MacGuffin, The Greensboro Review, Puerto del Sol, The Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, as well as Delmarva Review. She is a former journalist who now works for a global health nonprofit organization as a writer, editor, and communications director.
Delmarva Review is a nonprofit, independent literary journal publishing the best of new prose and poetry selected from thousands of submissions. Partial financial support comes from individual contributions and a grant from the Talbot County Arts Council with funds from the Maryland State Arts Council. The review is available worldwide from Amazon.com and from specialty regional booksellers like Mystery Loves Company, in Oxford. For submissions, please see the website: www.DelmarvaReview.org.