Another measure of places yet to go
down the wellworn path beneath the tired trestle
gone rust and oily-wooded from coaches snaking by
filled with faces pressed against the glass as waves
curl pacifically towards them from another world away.
We pass young mothers along the way waddled behind
by trudgesome toddlers who ask, When will we be there?,
over and over, their unmarked maps easily folded to fit in
their small pockets for all the worldly travel they’ve done
up to now, each step another measure of places yet to go.
We belong to no one today, hope it lasts through tomorrow,
persists in our need to pinch the flushing cheek of a future
that has yet to dawn red or at all. Past the tall sycamores and
eucalyptus we scour the shaded limbs for an owl that isn’t
there, wonder if the landbound couple might’ve made it up.
We can smell it now, saltcrash on sunscreen, the foamy rush
burbling against our sandwiches conched in our burlap sack,
the threading weave of gulls and terns and bridgeswifts conspire
in silent fugues above the shore and we add our padded rhythms,
one sandal thud at a time, driving a firm stitch of late hunger.
Some days open like this, as if one touch might bring on
all the wildflowers a brief season gives gladly to what love
might be found in bloom or blossom, yucca and jacaranda
setting mountains and neighborhoods afire with such purpose,
our steps finding the sure measures of their soleful stride.
This was supposed to be about so many other things, a simple
recounting of a reconnoiter from our cabin to the beach, how
the moon had left its full mark on our pale impressions of it,
how satellites slip between Polaris and Antares, stars we can’t
name, fleet spaceshooters that last scarcely longer than we do.
June 27, 2013