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Parade of Boats

Every year in August
a parade of classic yachts,
like swans with their plumage high,
sail through the Deer Isle

This year, as in most years,
the southwest breeze
blows candy-colored sails 
like Chinese parasols
billowing before them. 

Puffed up spinnakers 
balloon then collapse
in the lee of Crotch Island.

Anxious helmsmen stare aloft 
to see if they will fill again.

Masts and booms,
sprits and poles 
lines and winches,
the crews play
a symphony of instruments.

Let’s salute those lovers,
bewitched by these boats,
who have the passion
and the fortune
to preserve them:

Because they are beautiful;
and because they save the skills
and livelihoods of those craftsmen
who know how 
to keep them that way.

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