Download the whole novel, for free, as a PDF here: The Floating Harbour
And all is rather still.
I watch Cabot watch his ship. Though a reconstruction, it is clear he yearns to board and captain it nonetheless. He could stroll on up beneath the cranes to the end of their row and pause… board and sail until a new land is found – but what to call it?
Yet I know he will,
a sight that daily sets itself
in play across
the water for
his impatience and his scorn.
Reflecting bright, in neon yellow, any sun that finds its way, child after child will board, as one party of pirates, The Matthew and will it away from the wall, in a harbour U-turn before his very eyes, and sail it off toward the ocean. But we, he and I, know it will not sail far, and for now it stands and floats: is still.
I have seen him most days of recent months, and in my memory banks I have seen him stoic and deeply restless each year that he has been thusly perched. The seagulls, too: they screech in semi-reliably recorded history. He may not do more than picture his journey, yet I am locked merely in time, never in space, and my boots – who have walked his yet-to-be and long-since discovered continent – can take me over the cobbles and the tracks, if not the river herself.
That way, for him, adventure lies; to me, what lies that way is food. And so worth it is the trip.
There is a bridge across the water constructed primarily as a river lock. Usually under foot and under cyclist, it is currently quiet, and it sleeps its boat-letting potential as it offers to take you on and present you with each and either side. When I return, it will offer me Cabot and cobbles to my left, a river-parallel to my right, and a path straight-on to the central city; as I go now, it lays out the south for me, ahead, and a left-turn to the church and spire. But, with the prospect of food and yet still without, there is pathway more attractive.
I go right, and the narrative goes with me.
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