Chatham Reach, Medway

In the clinkered tender,

standing, he sculls one handed,

a cupped cigarette in the other,

sculpting an infinity of eights,

wrist-rolling the transomed oar

through sepia coloured water.

A merchant seaman

drab suited as befits

life in the Fifties.

Into the morning mists

of memory he drifts,

from pier-head to the red

and white hull of the Maga Dan.