“The boats knocking against the dock”: from a work-in-progress

boats in mist

Think of the houses in their clearing on the inlet, goats behind fences of wire and branches, broken sticks, think of hens pecking in the gardens put to bed for winter, only the cabbages left, the tall stems of brussels sprouts. Smoke rising from each chimney, a dog barking. Think of the children racing across the ground from the schoolhouse, racing home to warm biscuits, chores, homework at a kitchen table lit by kerosene lamps. In winter, they walked to school on dark mornings with candles carefully placed in perforated soup cans. Think of the mothers in their kitchens, making soup. Think of the eggs in bowls on the sills. Think of fish strung on a line in a grey board smokehouse, nets laid out on the rocks. The boats knocking against the docks. The sound of birds. Think of the rain. Could you paint that, do you think? She was asking herself and she knew the answer had to be yes.

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