I have a hard job aboard this blue boat
Hanging down here or there between vessel and float
Pressed into service, squeezed into tight spaces
When the boat is tied up on a dock at some places

I am fat and full-figured, inflated and filled
But often go flaccid when air becomes chilled
A fender like me is as light as a feather
Easy to move but tough as old leather

I get no real credit for all that I do
Saving the hull from bad landings and crew
When winds and wakes push hard on the dock
Who takes the brunt, who takes the shock?

Sometimes awash I am dragging my butt
In soggy old seaweed or greasy rot-gut
But dressed in my tight-fitting wetsuit material
I’m extremely good looking, even imperial

No wooden, nor metal nor concrete construction
Will easily cause my total destruction
No one aboard cares a wit for my safety
I was once lost at sea, my rescue unhasty

My buddies aboard number five-fold
Some are like brothers, others quite old
We have some fun times when not pressed into use
Just hanging about telling tales of abuse

At anchor no need for a fender like me
We’re on vacation when the boat is at sea
When a nearby marina comes close into sight
I’m thrown over the rails and on watch for the night.

I’m a fender defender of this jolly blue boat
A suspended sensation keeping Jupiter afloat.

In Petersburg, Alaska, a town forged from fishing, our berth neighbors processing plants affording a study of the relentless rotation of tenderers and trawlers unloading their catch.

Jack and Richmond, summer crew on neighboring seiner, Cinnamon Girl, hail from Jupiter’s home port of St. Louis.

The working waterfront at Petersburg


  1. Penny LeGate says:

    You guys on blue boats
    Are too stinkin clever
    I’m gonna steal your poem
    Call it mine forever

    The yacht world will fete me
    In much jam and honey
    And as a result of my fame
    I’ll make loads of money

    The authors may sue me
    Claiming hey that’s our work
    But in the south of France
    I’ll be dancing the twerk

    My own little blurb here
    Can’t clearly compete
    So that’s why I steal yours
    To stay on my feet

    That cute little ditty
    About sad, weathered fenders
    Has clearly bested me
    So to you…I surrender.


  2. DeeDee Lisenby says:

    Great poetry !
    From now on I will feel pain for the fender when I toss her/ him over the side !

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