I’m at Willard Beach for my morning walk,
sun a spectacular presence on this second day
after the nor’easter, wind calm, a few waves
glimmer off the shore, tide flowing out as dogs
begin to arrive—singles, pairs, a trio of English
bulldogs. The owners slip off the leashes, let ‘em
run. You can sense the taste of freedom in the air.
On the far end of the beach before the steep steps
to the hilltop, the three fishing shacks, the view
of Two Lights down the coast, I meet a woman
with one of those little black and white dogs.
We chat about the day, the year, what lies ahead,
the uncertainties in this time we now live. “I never
imagined,” I say. She smiles, tells me some of her
story. She just moved back from Savannah after
fourteen years, twelve years prior she lived off
Marginal Way on the industrial side of town.
She’s pleasant, a bit rough, but that’s understood.
This isn’t a social event, just two people passing
time on a Holiday morning. I ask about Savannah.
It’s on my to-visit list; the red state is a concern.
She isn’t a red person she assures me. She talks
about the summers, high humidity, cost of living.
For a while she was on the system, and now
she works part time at Starbucks for insurance.
She’s an artist and a collector she says, showing
me a piece of split jagged stone with a thin crust
of quartz along the rim. There isn’t a lot more.
She calls Cricket, that little dog to her side, gives
him a small treat and they walk down the beach
as I climb those icy steps onto the narrow stretch
that leads to the fishing shacks and a view that
on a day like today can take your breath away.