The following poem was written by Jo Shafer, a retired news journalist in Yakima, Washington, who is a descendent of the Maddox and Nedley families of Apalachicola. It appears in a book she has written called “Oyster Shells," a collection of poems about old Apalachicola. You can read more of her work at her blog "Invitation to the Garden, at


It looks like an artist’s painting

on the brick wall of the old Grady place,

a relic of a fishing boat—

the hull in broad sweeps of dirty white,

a pilot house, once white,

rust hanging down

from its windows

like ancient tears.


Gone are angled arms

that once supported fish net draperies.

The lower boards are rotting away

in spite of wooden brackets in unkempt grass.

Faded lettering runs along one side,


the name of a long-ago fisherman

in a Greek village by the shore

whose son emigrated.