Boarding the Ferry Stevens at Hoboken by Rick Mullin

Boarding the Ferry Stevens at Hoboken

The chance of my not dropping everything
I own into the Hudson River slim
this morning where I hold a paperback,
the Times, my wallet and a shoulder sling
attached to unzipped canvas in the swim
of summer dresses, tearing at a pack
of ferry tickets on a floating ramp
set rocking by the Stevens’ hard approach,
the silhouette of glassy Mannahatta
windward, beaming FUTURE through a damp
penumbra with the voice of Scaramouche
at Lackawanna singing “What’s-a-matta-
you? Hey dat’s-a-nice-a-face,”
the water
piling on its own ideas of order.

by Rick Mullin

Editor’s Note: In approximately twenty years, this sonnet will likely need a list of footnotes longer than the text of this poem to explain the pop culture references scattered among the lines. I vaguely recall holding a paper copy of the Times, but the memory is so faint I might be imagining things. Also, anyone who rhymes Scaramouche with approach deserves a medal. Just sayin’.


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