Ship’s Glossary by Michael Goodfellow

Poem title: Ship’s Glossary Poet name: Michael Goodfellow Poem: Slip hooks, lashings, boatfall, sheer off —a sign for what to do in case of wreck, the things it meant roped down, tarped off below. No words for a kind of splash, the engine room where light doesn’t reach, the sound tires made when they pull off the ramp or for a wind taut cord, tight enough for a gull to grip. That the dinghy never had to be lowered, that no one had fallen off. How easily cable became a kind of land, how the bow passed through the water like water. How the ship lurched the length of its darkened coil. Say that it happened. The drowning vernacular —loss, passing, accident— nouns for what never happened clung to chance like mussels to a sunk hull. The real mussels never let go. Say that water passed above them like foil. End of poem. Credits and bio: Copyright © Michael Goodfellow Previously published in Naturalism, an Annotated Bibliography (Gaspereau Press, 2022). Michael Goodfellow is the author of the poetry collections Naturalism, An Annotated Bibliography (2022) and Folklore of Lunenburg County (2024), both published by Gaspereau Press. His poems have appeared in the Literary Review of Canada, The Dalhousie Review, The Cortland Review, Reliquiae and elsewhere. He lives in Nova Scotia.