By the Port

The day says wait for my signal.
Both gladness and grief
seem indistinguishable
from the wing beats
of geese leaving the river.

All memories want to rise
and enter the arena.

How I loved the hoof beats
of summer trail horses!
Their creaking leather saddles
warm from the sun and smelling
of barn hay and brown soap.

It was an ordinary day
like this one when my father died.
The worn red carpet
in his church gleamed.
His old organist called from far away
with smiling eyes and a throat
as parched as winter.

Far out on the marsh an egret
like a priest in the stubble.
I walk to where I can see
the shipping channel
and try to throw a stick to the end
of the first row of pilings.

The stick a bird circling low,
then rising slowly over the water
as effortless as a child
reaching for the breast after sleep.

2 responses to “By the Port

  1. Melissa Shaw-Smith

    An intriguing poem. Love that last image.


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