Poisoned Brine

Manchester, Maryland

Manchester, Maryland

I cast the words in your direction,
on barbed hooks, with vile bait.
I waited at the water’s edge,
and I learned a bit too late—
that all I had intended was to
catch and throw you back,
but the words had been so hateful
that the waters had turned black,
and you were dying in the deep,
while I stood with rod and line,
wishing I could reel back
words that poisoned brine.

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A Dark Wind

Ormond Beach, Florida

Ormond Beach, Florida

A dark wind blew your smile away,
And brought tears upon your cheek,
But don’t let sorrow rule the day.

How heavy this must surely weigh,
And now your world is bleak.
A dark wind blew your smile away.

So tempting to give grief its sway,
To despair and feel weak.
But don’t let sorrow rule the day!

And overwhelmed in this dismay,
You emit a silent shriek.
A dark wind blew your smile away.

If I could give you joy’s bouquet,
If there were only some technique—
But don’t let sorrow rule the day.

Find joy and laugh again, I pray.
Find just one happy streak.
A dark wind blew your smile away,
But don’t let sorrow rule the day.

A Space Between

Fells Point, Baltimore

Fells Point, Baltimore

Against a tall black fence, I lean,
Standing under a gull’s cry,
Peering through a space between.

The Harbor offers much to glean,
And that’s precisely why
Against a tall black fence, I lean.

Under foot are tufts of green.
They battled brick just to try
Peering through a space between.

It is lovely and serene,
Water within reach, but sigh,
Against a tall black fence, I lean.

I press against the metal screen,
Hoping for more to spy,
Peering through a space between.

And I am part of this Harbor scene,
Viewed by all those passing by—
Against a tall black fence, I lean,
Peering through a space between.

Cocoa Beach

Cocoa Beach, Florida

Cocoa Beach, Florida

At Cocoa Beach, I chased the sun,
And caught it everywhere.
Like all those shuttles launched nearby,
It blasted through the air.

At Cocoa Beach, I played in sand–
Grains running through my toes.
And soon the sand was everywhere–
My hair, my ears, my nose.

At Cocoa Beach, I stood in waves,
That had a pleasant beat.
And when those waves crashed upon me–
They helped to fight the heat.

At Cocoa Beach, the day was done.
I took my pail and spade;
Walked slowly back across the beach,
And thought of how I’d played.

Note to Josie: During lunch at the Mango Tree, you charmed a woman in her seventies, who was chatty and talked about the early days of space travel and the corresponding excitement in this area of the U.S. She said that in those days, you could expect to see an astronaut and his family having dinner in a local restaurant, and that Walter Cronkite would likely be there in a corner.