waitress poems

Friday, June 03, 2005


Today, on my way home from the bank,
I stopped at Craigville beach
where my dog scatters the gulls
like so much ash as she races
across sand streaked with snow.
Tugged along the coast,
I walked with purpose
and a kind of greed--as if
toward some point on the horizon where
the alternating raptures and
rapacious despairs
that drive and torment my days
would finally cease.
This is the beach where the young
gather in summer,
and a thousand inadequate
radios flood the coast
with the music and curse,
the brilliance and ruin
that is desire.
But it is all emptiness
now, reduced to elemental
blue and white.
Ignoring the cold at my cheek,
the insistent demands
that waited for me elsewhere,
I walked until my limbs ached and
my eyes began to sting.
Someday, this flash of gulls
we’re following
will be erased; and with them,
History, that russet tide
of selfishness and grace.
Someday the line
between blue and white
will erode
and there will be no one left
to stand on this promontory
and weep for the little
we have learned,
or the vastness of all
we still don’t understand.


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