Saturday, June 11, 2016

Five Days at the Glace Bay Shore

Day One 

On this day
waves move like lovers
one trying to catch the other
rushing breathless toward to the palm of shore

They join in a tangled dance
a rapturous violence

churned and spun and toppled
upside down and around each other
watery limbs entwined and broken 

They become one. 

Day Two

At noon
two men get out of their truck
as casual as cats
descend the uneven, pathless rocks to water edge

These are not the people I expect to see
strolling shorelines:

Truck people
Men in caps

They are not poets or dreamers or lovers

The older one stops and bends
picks up something small
hunched over with his old back
examines it in his hand
and reaches it out for the other to see

The other
with his younger back and hands without callouses
leans in
(it is an unspoken rule on shores to stop and look at whatever your companion finds and extends to you)

I sit in my car watching
wanting to know what treasure he has found
wanting to join them
as casual as a cat
down on the shoreline

"Nice day! Whatcha got there?"  I could say.
And we could all become friends, eventually,
agree to meet tomorrow.
share our finds.
or a tuna sandwich.

But I am a voyeur
with a pen and a poem to write.

And maybe they are lovers, after all.

Day Three

On this shore 
a group of gulls take off
face the wind
hang in the air, defiant
pressing themselves against the invisible 
then turn and fly
behind the low cliffs

A small blue fishing boat
heads toward the smooth edge of the ocean
and I know it will disappear, as well

A speck swallowed by horizon 

Though the fishers will still feel more part of the world
than I.

Day Four

On this shore
juts a jigsaw of cliffs
counting years in the millions
their jagged face
lets you see what is not there

And I wonder how much
of that cliff wall is now sand

caught in an endless tumble at the cliff’s feet 
or gone out to sea
where it accounts for nothing

Day Five

How much time have I spent
watching things disappear?

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