My boat is being made to order. Right now it’s about to leave
The hands of its builders. I’ve reserved a special place
for it down at the marina. It’s going to have plenty of room
on it for all my friends: Richard, Bill, Chuck, Toby, Jim, Hayden,
Gary, George, Harold, Don, Dick, Scott, Geoffrey, Jack,
Paul, Jay, Morris, and Alfredo. All my friends! They know who they are.
Tess, of course. I wouldn’t go anyplace without her.
And Kristina, Merry, Catherine, Diane, Sally, Annick, Pat, Judith, Susie, Lynne, Annie Jane, Mona.
Doug and Amy! They’re family, but they’re also my friends,
and they like a good time. There’s room on my boat
for just about everyone. I’m serious about this!
There’ll be a place on board for everyone’s stories.
My own, but also the ones belonging to my friends.
Short stories, and the ones that go on and on. The true
and the made-up. The ones already finished, and the ones still being written.
Poems, too! Lyric poems, and the longer, darker narratives.
For my painter friends, paints and canvases will be on board my boat.
We’ll have fried chicken, lunch meat, cheeses, rolls,
French bread. Every good thing that my friends like and I like.
And a big basket of fruit, in case anyone wants fruit.
In case anyone wants to say he or she ate an apple,
or some grapes, on my boat. Whatever my friends want,
name it, and it’ll be there. Soda pop of all kinds.
Beer and wine, sure. No one will be denied anything, on my boat.
We’ll go out into the sunny harbor and have fun, that’s the idea.
Just have a good time all around. Not thinking
about this or that or getting ahead or falling behind.
Fishing poles if anyone wants to fish. The fish are out there!
We may even go a little way down the coast, on my boat.
But nothing dangerous, nothing too serious.
The idea is simply to enjoy ourselves and not get scared.
We’ll eat and drink and laugh a lot, on my boat.
I’ve always wanted to take at least one trip like this,
with my friends, on my boat. If we want to
we’ll listen to Schumann on the CBC.
But if that doesn’t work out, okay,
we’ll switch to KRAB, The Who, and the Rolling Stones.
Whatever makes my friends happy! Maybe everyone
will have their own radio on my boat. In any case,
we’re going to have a big time. People are going to have fun,
and do what they want to do, on my boat.