Four years on a 37-foot sailboat, cruising the Pacific coast of Canada and Alaska, gave Emily Wall the sustaining metaphors for Liveaboard. She shows us the ‘absent-minded priest’ of a great blue heron, and a new life with ‘a few cleats tethering us to shore’. These are moments that both awaken - the rumble of a tugboat churning by - and haunt - a friend’s drowning, the small wake of her body.
Every nerve in our necks
thrums down our spines
until even our cramped hands
begin to hum, threaten to break
into pale sea stars, indigo blossoms.
(from ‘Saturday Morning’)
Emily Wall lived aboard her 37’ sailboat in Vancouver, British Columbia for four years. In the fourth summer she sailed from Vancouver to Juneau, Alaska, where she currently lives with her husband and three daughters. She is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Alaska Southeast. This is her second poetry collection; her first book, Freshly Rooted, was published with Salmon Poetry in 2007.