Quinton fished the Casco Bay from Peakes Island.

The other day-fishers know his boat.

A 1985 Seaway 22-footer running the Drunken Ledge,

The Cod Ledges,
Big Ridge, and the Tanta’s ‘punkin bottom’.

Pollock and cod in the winter.

All in sight of the Ram’s Head Light station.

Quinton 56.

Fishing all he know.

Not speaking much,

Except to the fish and his boat


Forty-one years of fishing

Still has all his teeth and hair.

Once a stud to the cougars at Billy Ray’s Tavern

They thought he was worth one night.

Not no more.

He smells too much like fish.

On a sunny January day Quinton trailed two long lines

Over the blister bottom of the Klondike.

A good haul of cod to sell at the Portland pier.

This his life.

The wet of the sea, the smell of fish, and…..

A three-foot wave broke o’er the bow.

The sun low off the shore.
Going to get dark
Maybe black with the night.

No other boats were in sight.

Wind from the north.

Heavy clouds on the flat horizon.

Casco Bay not flat for long.

Heavy seas ahead and behind.

Still plenty of fish on the lines.

Only two options;

Haul in the catch or cut bait and head to the shelter of the nearest island.

Inner Green.

A frigid Atlantic wind skates across his skin.

Something bad coming from Down East.

Bad maybe wicked.

“Fuck it.”

No fool Quinton cut the lines.

Time to outrun the weather.

Maybe not enough time.

Throughout that evening
The storm got serious.

No one at Billy Ray’s Bar seen Quinton.

Not asea nor ashore.
They say nothing.

Saying something was bad luck.

They drained their PBRs and watched the Bruins.

At midnight the tavern door opened wide.

Drenched to the bone.

“Rough ride home. Two Jamie’s, a ‘Gansett.”

He eyed the bar.
Four other fishermen on the stools.


“Get these landlubbers a drink too.”

Quinton says nothing else.

There was nothing to say.

A lifted finger.

Another round.

As many afore closing

Vernon knew his limit.

Post a Comment

Your email is never shared. Required fields are marked *