Oct/Nov 2020 Poetry

Westerly, Rhode Island

by Russell Rowland

Westerly, Rhode Island

Watch Hill is entirely too pedicured—
for sand between toes, we must drive
to Misquamicut. Here, you hopscotch
a breaker, then tug, self-conscious,
at the errant kinesis of your swimsuit.
Amid all this bikini confetti, fathers
do not stare at other men's daughters.

Along Route One, a Burma-Shave sort
of July sign-sequence: Pick Your Own.
Reluctant to join the strawberry picking,
daughter, you're willing to help me eat.
My starboard kneecap, for love of you,
appears skinned, where I knelt upon
ripeness, in the Union's smallest state.

Look how the mockingbird executes
backflips, if you please, off Phone Pole
Seventy-Six, after broadcasting parodies
all night. As chanticleer counterfeit,
he brought us wide awake at 2 a.m.
A girl matures faster in places where
the sun rises so early out of the sea.


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