The Working Waterfront

A love scene that inspired poetry


Phil Crossman
Posted 2020-09-09
Last Modified 2020-10-04

I was reminded of this encounter the other night when, at dinner with the object of my own affection, I was enjoying a profoundly delicious shrimp scampi. This memory is never far away and when I’m enjoying scampi it’s as fresh and delicious as dinner.

Returning from a solo “down and back” road trip to Connecticut, I stopped for the night in Portsmouth and for dinner at a restaurant I’d heard good things about. The place was very inviting, kind of full, there was scampi on the menu, and things were looking very promising.

I was nursing my second beer and anticipating that favorite dinner I’d ordered a few minutes earlier. Two young people entered and settled in nearby, not directly across from my table, but close. And although, during the frequent, scrumptious, and leisurely interludes that followed, I was quite obviously and shamelessly attentive to their delightfully evolving attachment, they paid no attention to me. Which is not surprising and just as well—it would have ruined everything.

They were awkward to begin with but compelling—enchanting, lovely, and irresistible, and without even the slightest pretense. I watched their attraction morph perfectly into affection and then to devotion and can confidently say today, decades later, that they are surely together, although I know nothing about them. I can’t imagine otherwise.


A Couple Kissed

A couple kissed, twas just a peck,

across the aisle from me.

She was poised

on the edge of her seat;

perched for proximity.


To be clearer to him,

she sat in the chair opposite.

She was lovely and cool,

dark and comfortable in her situation.


She was slim and most of her black perfect hair

was caught up in a sloppy bun.

She wore a sleeveless top

beneath which was revealed a taut little middle

then jeans,

three silver ankle bracelets, flip flops and brown feet.


She handled her chop sticks well

and ate heartily.

Her eyes were dramatic

and their make-up subtle,

less so her thoughts.


He was a slob,

adorable but a slob and clearly smitten.

His hair was all over the place

as if he’d just showered,

toweled it dry

and not a thing more,

jeans and a black t shirt.


She leaned over to show him the necklace that he’d admired.

She had small breasts,

perfect on her;

His admiration wandered all around the pendant.


Each had a little overbite.

So that their top lips met first,

then the bottoms.

Phil Crossman lives on Vinalhaven and is happily married to Elaine. He remains a studious observer, even today.