'Twas the Frostbiting Season

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by Janet E Rupert

‘Twas the frostbiting season, when all through the club
The dinghies lay idle, aye, there’s the rub--
For the docks on river’s edge like cordwood were stacked
And a place to launch from I sorely lacked.
The very quick dropoff of 60 feet
Made gliding from shore too scary a feat.
To console myself I unlocked the gate
To check on my boat in the long winter wait.
A freezing wind howled through the trees,
And snow drifted gaily on the 15 knot breeze.
Yet I wanted to sail, seeing the west wind’s merit;
Blasting along on a reach thrills my adventurous spirit.
My boat was fine and frustrated I sat
On the club’s porch seeing cat’s paws and whitecaps.
Perhaps I dozed, ‘cause soon I could hear
The snapping of sails on the wind brought to bear.
I peered through the flurry, I peered through the gloom,
And to my surprise came eight shiny booms
Of all kinds of dinghies surfing the waves,
At the helm in red dry suits worked sailors brave.
There was a Thistle, a Lido, a Comet, a Scow
A Lightning, a Europe, an Interlake, and a Laser’s bow
Cutting through waves, powering through slop,
What a jolly sight as they mastered the chop!
They towed something large as they skirted the shore,
A barge filled with presents, and onward they bore
To the seawall, to the seawall-- I was afraid they would crash
But seamanlike and tidy they landed with dash.
I ran to help tie them but ignore me they did
As they secured their own boats while munching on squid.
As quick as can be they unloaded the barge,
Of packages round, some tiny, some large.
The gifts they left on the race committee boat
That would not until springtime once again float.
There were Cunningham lines, and mainsheets blue
Sails, cleats, and dollies, and carbon masts too.
Gel coat and paint, hoist motors, and boots,
Wet suits and dry, and horns to toot.
Seeing my yearning, my sadness, my mope
They drew from a dry bag, handing me hope,
A ticket to sail smartly, on warm green seas,
A ticket to skim clear waters to the end of the Keys!
And as quick as they came they were gone in a snap
Crying out “Peace on Earth to All, all over the map.”
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