Three cars, three minutes

each time, on time, just

in time, to midnight — metronome


for the separate island

releasing triptych cars which drive

twenty-five on one paved road

and less on dirt washboards

where rhythmed bumps punctuate

as fishermen, construction crews

returning shoppers buck and heave

on sand bunched like bedclothes

on a humid night when unquiet

blows southwest and sleepers

wrestle unbidden chimera

when morning is far and night

herons rasp in the silence

between ships bells

and steepled intonations

from the Old Whaling Church

where island women married

sailors whose only bond

was semen left when men

went to whale and women

were stretched from faithfulness

to widowhood – and tomorrow


quarter-to-seven captains key

diesel barges, take sleepers

to Edgartown, each time

on time, just in time.