Archive for September 27th, 2018

Thursday, 27 September 2018

Gone by Peter Makuck

Walking through maritime forest,
he tops the ridge dune, beach empty,

ocean blue as the ink of her last letter,
that perfect nun-schooled cursive,

this last aunt, gone with family
stories he should have listened

more closely to. Afternoon shadows
thicken in the white sandy hollows,

sea oats at his back and far out
a sharp line that divides two worlds.

He is thinking of a Polish uncle escaped
from Nazis when, as if sent by a deity,

appears a woman in a blue wetsuit.
She drags a red kayak out through the wash,

hops in, and paddles out
to the eight footers that

tip her over and send her back
boiling in a white seethe to the sand.

At last she finds her feet, staggers
and retrieves the kayak. Again

she launches out and again goes upside-
down in the loud pound of the surf zone.

All this emptiness but for sandpipers
that suddenly rise, as if with one will,

twist and head in a new direction,
then swirl down a hundred yards east.

When he looks back
the red kayak is beyond the breakers

in a field of sun sparks pointed west, slowly
appearing and disappearing far from shore.


Date: 2009

By: Peter Makuck (1940- )