How could you possibly leave the shore?
My father wasn't angry, more disbelieving.
He was the kind who couldn't tell
where bloodstream ended and salt water began.
And there I was preparing to move inland.
What sort of woman is this that you're marrying?
To him, a kind of siren luring me away
with tales of paradise that were nothing more
than flat and forever wheat fields.
What kind of children will you bring into this world?
In his mind, the kind who couldn't tell an eider from a grebe,
a soft-shell crab from a quahog,
who'd never experience the thrill
of dolphins in the wild.
And how come I've never heard of this company that's hired you?
It didn't matter. I knew them well enough
and it was my life that would report to work every day,
make good money, start a family,
visit my home town when time and my bank account allowed,
and maybe, who knows, move back there eventually for good.
Welcome home, my father said.
He'd skipped to the end of my story.