My Harbor Life

Roger A. Maness
Fall, 1996



Sometimes As I Sit On The Docks

          Late At Night Alone,

I Overlook The Vast Waters Of The Lake, Afloat,

On This Marina like A Giant Boat.


I Look Over The Water,

          The lights Reflecting Off Of It Like A Million Fireflies,

Dancing Up And Down, The Waves Crashing On The Shore.

Just The Wildlife And Me.


I Think A lot.  This Time Is Mine.  And Mine Alone.

I Think About Lots Of Things.  My Future.  What I May Do.

Tomorrow And The Next Day.  The Next Year.


But Every Now And Then I Can’t Help But Think Back,

Way Back To When I Was A Young Boy.


Back When My Family Would Take Us Fishing.

We Would Pack Up The Car And Go To Such Fun Places.


I Remember Stopping At The Bait Houses, To Buy Worms And Bait,

And Things That We Would Need For A Day Of Fishing.

My Mom And Dad Would Say,

          “What A Great Job This Bait Store Man Has.”

Myself … Wide Eyed At The Fish Mounted On The Wall. 

The Anchor.  The Stories.  The Fish Caught Here.


My Dad Buying Hooks.  My Mom Looking At The Maps.

The Man Working Behind The Counter,

          His Eyes And Hands Cracked By The Sun.

          The Stories He’s Heard.  The Things He's Done.


It Was Wonderful There.  To Go Fishing With My Family.

My Dad So Proud Of Us.  My Mom So Kind,

          So Patient With My Brother and Me.


We Would Try So Hard To Catch A Fish Like Dad.

My Mom Making Our Picnic Lunches

          With Plenty Of Meat And Cheese And Lots Of Love.


I Remember All These Days as I Look Over The Lake.

And I know The Many People That Pass Through This Marina.

The Kids With Their Moms And Dads. 

          The Kids Looking At My Eyes and Hands,

          Now Cracked By The Sun. 

          My Back Sore From Bending Over The Bait Tanks,

          Throwing The Guide Ropes To The Incoming Boats, Lifting Anchor.


The Parents Now looking At Me And Saying,

           “What A Great Job This Man Must Have.”

I Give Advice.  The Right Bait.  The Best Places To Catch The Big Ones.

I Wink At The Kids And Tell Them About The Big Ones I Have Caught.


I Do These Things With A Smile,

          As I Looked down Into The Children's Eyes.


A Small Things You Might Say.  Not To The Kids. 

          Their Memories Are Important.


No, I Do Not Make Great Money. 

The Satisfaction Far Out Weighs That.


If It All Ends Tomorrow, I Will Think Of These Days Fondly.

          The Sun.  The Water.  The Stories.

The lives Touched By A Day Of Fishing With Mom And Dad.


The Stories … That Matter … The Stories Of Our Lives.

                                                                      Roger A. Maness