A Comfort to the Restless, Plum Island
© 2001 by Ellin Anderson


Ellin Anderson

Half-light, dissolver of cohesiveness,
You drift between the ocean and the yard
With windblown sand, gentle and lusterless,
Hitting a painted trellis with the hard
Brilliance of salt, spent where the tendrils hold
Glory of morning, indigo and gold
Revealed in thickets of viridian;
You skim the harbor’s gilded reach, and then
Where tides part from the beach, you cast a glance
That blinds us with its dulling radiance.

You float a wall of pearly fog at me,
Mocking the way an early twilight pulls
Legerdemain within the range of greys,
And draw those tones to you so that I see
The strokes of white but not the whirling gulls
Charting a broken circle through the spray;
While roses add their colors to the view,
Chiming in coral as the sun burns through:
“Love, love,” they toll, rusting in the sea air,
Coaxer of appetites and of salt-hay.

Now, thrown heavily, the breakers roll;
Slow threnody, the glassy waves unscroll,
Hissing out thunder, as the undertow
Tangles the copper lattice of my hair,
And whispers to me: “Did you think you knew
The reason for a shadow’s ebb and flow,
What the light gives, and what it takes away?”

© 2001 by Ellin Anderson. All rights reserved. No part of  this work may be copied or used in any way without written  permission from the author.


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