|Jan/Feb 2011 Poetry Special Feature|
I come home one day to discover
your painting's been moved to the attic, the unfinished
one with the blue boat moored loosely to a buoy.
A suggestion of sea gulls take wing,
arc above the waves toward a slip of a sun.
There are mornings when your loss
is a distant roar, a metallic shine
that glimmers at horizon's edge, low rumble
and boom of the tide.
From the gray shelter of the beach house
we'd watch the trawlers work
beyond the breakers, a cloud of whirling sea birds,
dolphins flashing in their wake.
Late afternoons when the days lost heat,
you'd bend your back to the beach, fingers sifting
surf-trampled shells for something
unbroken and whole.
Your daughter has washed away
the last of her grief. Or she has found
the perfect shell and hides the soft hurt
in its endless curl. Maybe your loss has weathered;
old wood underfoot, a pier bolt gone to rust,
a small child's castle formed at water's edge
embraced by the grace of the sea.