Inside Passage

      by Michael Dylan Welch and Dejah Léger


First prize winner in the 2005 Haiku Poets of Northern California rengay contest. First published in Mariposa #14, Spring–Summer 2006, page 29. Written on the ferry from Seattle to Bremerton, Washington, and then on the ferry from Bainbridge Island to Seattle, on 5 December 2004.



morning stillness—

    the ferry turns

through a patch of sunlight                                          Michael


        the tug’s bow rope

        tightens and slackens                                             Dejah


uncle’s fresh catch—

the wood worn

beside the oarlock                                                           Michael


the whale’s hump

smoothes back into ocean—

my kayak rocking                                                             Dejah


        a clanging of masts

        from the distant marina                                        Michael


first birthday—

he floats his boat

along the carpet                                                               Dejah