I walked to the edge of the water and pulled in my rowboat—Daisy. It was perfectly calm and the air was thick with salt. A few lobsterman puttered around the bay in their boats. From the other side of the cove, voices of men launching their boat slid into my ear as if they were standing next to me. The twang of tension being released from their trailer hitch reverberated into the harbor. I stood barefoot in the mud, trying to avoid the sharp edges of mussels and barnacles clinging to small rocks. The water lapped at my ankles and the mud flexed slightly like a trampoline beneath my weight. Only small puckers of goo squished up between my big and little toes. I tried not to think about the bloodworms hiding deeper under the surface with their painful bite. I knew they were there because I saw the men at low tied bent over digging for them. It was a lucrative business, but also hard on the wormers’ bodies. I hauled Daisy in from her mooring, reaching out and bending like the wormers, so that the line wouldn’t slap against my legs and get me wet with seaweed.
Daisy slid into the grass and the sedges rippled along the shoreline warning a Great Blue Heron of my presence. It turned its golden eyes and dark grey-blue head toward me. After a pause it kept hunting, delicately lifting one leg, the long toes folding together like a closing umbrella then fanning out again on the mud to keep it from post holing.
I gripped the oar handles and worked the blades through the water. I planted my feet hard on the deck and bits of grit rubbed into the soles of my feet as I pushed against the floor and hauled back on the oars. The sun’s heat started to make me sweat as I flexed my arms and pulled against the resistance of the outgoing tide. A lobster boat motored past me stirring up the water. The captain waved stoically and I was left in my rocking boat.