The Fisher Wife

Barbara J. Weekley

Hard notes play loud in the purple sky over the bay, from horns of sun-beaten ships. Fishermen, brown and salt-washed, move their boats to the edge of land, and gulls cry overhead, mocking them as if to say, “I will swoop near your rudder and still find my dinner!” The dock has always welcomed me a seat in all seasons, whether to swim near it in summer morning or whisper my secrets to the wind in the shudder of fall.

Tonight, I hear the festival down in Ribbon Bay. The carousel organ chants loud, redundant tunes, like a large mechanical Pied Piper, beckoning children to straddle red giraffes and orange sea horses. The voices of barkers whistle through the wind and saturate the stillness that I long for. Fireworks bang above me, placing the dark in terror and imposing sparks of raspberry and blues into the din. But soon, my ears close themselves to the outside distractions, and I think on you.

This was our place to come, when all of Ribbon Bay slept. Back then, I felt like warm ashes in your arms. We spent hours making love here, hands intertwined and entangled in the hot, hasty toss of panty and shoes. With you wrapped around me, I never felt the cold curl of wind, even in early winter. You smelled like the sea and tasted sweet in my mouth. Skin, rough and charred from the day of fishing—at night, you loved me with a relentless hunger, only satisfied when I was filled with you.

I come here nearly every night because there is no other choice for me. I crave the way you held the small of my back and stroked my thigh. People tell me its time to move on, and I know they all are well-meaning, but how can anyone understand? I cannot think of other men when I still hear you say how I move my hips like dolphins glide the foam. You told me my mouth warmed the chill of the sea from your bones and that my hair was spun from seashells. If I close my eyes, I know the texture of you; soft coral mixed with sand, your lips curling my ear, coaxing my nipple to rise. I taste your body still.

So I wait as any good fisher wife and listen to the water and the wind emulate your voice in my ear—praying for a word. Perhaps a naked swim will open the tide and call your hand to me again.


Barbara J. Weekley has been writing poetry and short stories for 45 years—for fun. Her poetry can be seen at Utmost Christian Writer’s Online. She is married and from Ohio. E-mail: wickenspoet[at]

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