We went to the Cape for my friend Paul’s 80th celebration. This afforded the opportunity to play on Thumpertown Beach before attending his party. It was wonderful to see him looking so happy, and to reconnect with some of his lovely friends whom I have met along the way.
THE GOOD MAN
His face conceives of the sun, gilded by flycasting
For manifold days off the crooked finger of the Cape,
Often around the jettied mouth of the Pamet.
Along those teeming shoals lie blue barnacled oysters, buried
Littlenecks, razor clams, one shard of whose sweet sharp
Crescent slit open my foot in the ebb tide. He sat me down
In the bright ankle-deep water, then trudged off
Across a glittering gilt sandbar, an oasis sculpted out of the flux,
For a band-aid and antiseptic wipe. Two terns
Fed each other, even the greedy white gulls, his favorite
Harbingers of humanity, for once stood peacefully watching
The wind ruffle in from the Bay.
Back home in his tower
(He built it on the earnings of years raking muck up
To publicly expose the threatening unseen)
I showered first, while he watered the pink tomatoes,
Curly beets, tiny triangular hot peppers and fragrant basil,
All fertilized by fish mulch, before he washed off
The luminous sticky sand of the day’s
Adventure. It took him an unhurried hour, maybe longer,
To nurture his green creatures to his satisfaction,
This general succoring in the prosperity of time.
by Traci L. Slatton