Sea Gone Girl
The sea gone girl is all at sea
Stockings rolled below the knee,
Careless slung the dishtowel hung
Cat got its parting scatscatscat,–
For her the very breeze of a Marine
Was signal for abandoning.
The screendoor bangs, the little street
Is window-wide a-buzz with her retreat:
She makes it to the sad hotel
Is keel-hauled by the firebell pull
In lobby; then she rises to the tropic
Islands rolling home in beer and frolic.
Others have that bleached hair, part ‘done’
Part rendered just uncombable by wind & sun,
Others wear fishnet gowns in this and other towns,
Have nails like Turner sunsets going down,
Knuckles that are wrinkled as a fishwife’s bum,
Have voices stored in shells that make a deepsea hum.
But who else has three captive princesses
Mild-mannered, magical, wearing middy dresses?
The six-year-old has her bath drawn ready,
The seven-year-old holds the coffee-pot steady,
& the eight-year-old draws the net of her nightdress over her head
And casts the sea gone mother into bed.
Colleen Thibaudeau, 1957
“Sea Gone Girl” can be found in The Artemesia Book (1991), available from Brick Books.
((( o ))) Listen to Peggy Roffey read the poem here.