Dancing Cloud

Home, 2001, did I love it enough?
Stown, tucked away in my bunk, I didn’t weigh very much.
Where were my brothers? Up on the deck,
Blinking out the specks.
Hear them now but muffled by timber.
Muck’s in the distance.

Strewn across the sea she is a wind that cannot wake,
She knows the waves were made to make.
To make you seasick, another weakness of mine.
Holding onto all the driftwood I can find.

Did I love it enough?

Is it the smell from the cedar,
Or stitching in your sleeve?
Have you got an admission?
I’d love to hear.
The dog hair under your tongue,
Our memory.
The horizon’s approaching
Expanding in lapis lazuli.

My grandparents have owned three boats with truly exceptional names. The first was Scallywag. The second was Scallywag II. The third, which they had in my lifetime, was the Dancing Cloud. I was only little when it was still seaworthy; eventually it wasn’t being used enough and needed a lot of work so it was sold on. I don’t have very many memories of that time, but one I have very clearly was that we were going to be driving to the mooring at Dunstaffonage to spend the day sailing around the west coast and I cried a lot because all I wanted to do was stay at my grandma’s and play Pokémon on my Gameboy Advance SP (probably Silver? I rocked up hundreds of hours on that badboy, I chose Cyndaquil for anyone wondering). The answer to the question “did I love it enough?” is clearly then an emphatic “no”.

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