Tuesday, August 21, 2012

At the Foot of the Harbor

At the Foot of the Harbor

At the foot of the harbor the fog
settles in wispy strata. Gulls
pick at the littered tide line
where shell-wrack and beer cans
cohabit in a common texture.

I’ve breakfasted on oatmeal
and half a gallon of orange juice
and feel as health-ridden as a squid.
You should see me setting forth
waving a white foam coffee cup

and singing a Buddy Holly tune.
A few yards ahead a duck pond
embraces a little flotilla
of green-capped or dull brown mallards,
a family already grown enough

to risk the long flight south.
We never took such risks. Childless,
we settled at the vanishing point
where perspective no longer applies.
Ducks and gulls mingle with no sign

of conflict. Neither species fears
my coffee cup, my singing voice,
or my swaying faux-sailor gait.
Pickups rumble past with young men
surly at the wheel. They resent

the summer people who pay them
to repair their leaky cottages.
I should resent someone, something,
should toss my coffee in someone’s
arrogant face. Maybe my own.

The ducks murmur in a language
that makes more sense than mine.
The incoming tide rattles the shells
and beer cans, a stark indifference
that like you evolves from the moon.

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