departing the ferry from Bainbridge Island to Seattle
when employment seemed stable, the future promising;
before masks became a mandate and simple caution
drove the cure, feet nimbly navigated docking ramps
to Seattle’s Terminal without hesitation or reluctance.
Seven thousand horses spin the vessel’s mighty propeller; whirling,
whirling, whirling, its paddles push the ferry along at 17 knots,
indifferent to pandemic timetables or new normal delusions.
At twenty-five percent capacity, the return journey’s now different;
commuters breathe on glass windows, leave sheets of human fog
across transparent surfaces…engrave initials on water vapor,
write names, messages, graffiti underscored by mythic symbols;
relations discouraged, even Puget Sound spray seems to practice
social distancing and avoids mixing moisture with passengers.