New Year’s Day 2017 – Marc Swan

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *