Saturday, 30 July 2016

the ferry wait


I popped awake
and noticed
someone was humming a hymn,
as they walked by our oven car -
where I baked.

the smell of clover
and hot tar lightly brushed the air.
and there was a sound
that wound sporadically
through the rolled down windows -
stopping and then starting again.
and then, I realized it was a little child
(vacillating between full-blown tantrum
and sweaty mute ad nauseum).

a couple of random bangs
and a boat horn tooted ...
the wait (when nothing feels right
and nothing feels wrong)
had come to the point where I usually became
intensity aware of insects:
buzzing and zizzing and landing and whizzing.
and so I did,
as the sun pounded down on our
cooker can car,
trapped in lane three: 
by the beautiful sea.
(but - nonetheless - as trapped as trapped can be.)

then - just  when I thought it was time to break out
my forty-something-year-old mantra
and make an attempt
to stop silently railing against the hours of tedium -
there - out of nowhere -
people in orange vests materialized
like fluorescent angels at the gates
and before stunned addled eyes
signified:  freedom awaits.

the air is filled with the roar of machines
and gas fumes.
at last !!!
hallelujah !!!
as exhausted ferry travelers start
their engines:
the mad scramble  
(into inert vehicles
miraculously defibrillated back from the dead)
there will be life - beyond the ferry terminal.
"all aboard" for the epically bored:
through the ferry gates -
to their great reward.

noteA 5 hour wait at the ferry terminal to cross over to Vancouver Island for the every-other-year Bourke Family get together - which, of course, left us trying to find the lake house we had rented for the week, for the 12 of us - in pitch darkness.  "Are we having fun, yet?"  This is an old poem from 2012, that seemed to fit the occasion.

postscript:  Had a wonderful time!  Made lots of great memories!  Took tons of photographs and - eventually - relaxed and rejuvenated.  It was awesome!

photo: Ferry Wait - Wendy Bourke

© 2012 Wendy Bourke


  1. ugh.
    sounds like a rough (&hot) wait

    been a while since i had to sit that long in a car just waiting.

    glad you had a wonderful time & were able to relax.

  2. "out of nowhere -
    people in orange vests materialized
    like fluorescent angels" what a joy to read the lines...a sigh of relief indeed!...

  3. The long wait, the bother, the fumes and all of a sudden all alive with a big roar! Been through this too!


  4. Ugh, I have had long waits crossing the border. It seems like eternity.

  5. I was scouting around my blog and saw one of your comments - thought "I haven't read her in AGES!" - so popped around! Glad I did. We've taken the ferry to Nova Scotia, but on the motorcycle. I've watched those people in cars waiting and waiting. Motorcycles get to arrive whenever and get on first, also off first! I felt bad for all those cars waiting forEVER in the heat. Your poem was perfect! So glad I found you again!

  6. You've captured this situation so well!