Harper's Ferry

By Dan Hein

When I was a child, I used to run to the boardwalk
And stare out onto the ocean; I would reach out,
Trying to grab the boats as they came to dock
With their weary captain, and his broken crew.
I took my sister once, and pointed out to a spot
Out in the middle of this beautiful nowhere.
I told her: that’s where I wanna live when I grow up.

Now, my children - they like to hang out in the shade
Under the railroad tracks here. They play their games
In the sunny afternoons, and then, when they get bored,
They dip their hands in the water, and feel a taste
Of the outside world, of the beautiful nowhere.
I’m too old to join them - I wish I could; but now,
I spend my days thinking of the middle of the ocean.