Red Wheelbarrow Poets
Poem of the Week 9/27/2016
Waiting to Cross the Water near the San Juan Islands
At Port Townshend, Washington,
I saw the best sunset there ever was.
Fire red, rippled by clouds
That made the reds dance like northern lights.
Now I’m ready to die.
But the skin doctor has taken a divot
From my hand, and I’d like to see it heal.
So, maybe not just yet.
There was time, waiting for the ferry,
To eat a meal by the waterside,
Scan the margins of the bay for riprap.
Georgia went ahead
To see about the car. We’d driven
Around the whole peninsula,
Seen the rain clouds in the rain forest,
Dipped a toe into the Pacific like Lewis and Clark.
I wish I’d valued her as much as she deserved.
There was time to see the sunset
Amid the riprap of bouncing thoughts
As we waited, becalmed, in the line of cars.
The San Juan Islands, bruited as
The loveliest on earth,
Do not start there, but they’re not far.
Georgia was killed by a drunk driver,
Some riffraff who walked away untouched.
I never think anyone will die.
If you take a divot from the land,
You must replace it. That’s the rule.
So I’d like to return to the bay,
Add a stone or two
To buttress the wall that holds back the sea.
Most times the most beautiful islands on earth
Are right where you are.