Alone at the Table
Memories of Home
Salt on the sea wind sifts raucous gulls in packs,
breeze beneath wings, searching for something
to scavenge. Seaweed. The tidemark filled with
longing. A grey sea crests and rises. Staring eyes:
stark simplicity of that seal’s head filling the bay.
Next day, his body stretched dead on the beach.
The river runs rocky beneath the covered bridge.
Campers have created first nation’s rock people,
heaping stone upon stone. At low tide, on the dried
river bed, there is no easy way to say no. White foam
horses in the farrier’s forge stamp and surge. A cold
wind blows at Cape Enrage. Wolfe Point sees late
gales transform the beach: the sandbar carved:
a Thanksgiving turkey, stripped to bare rib bone.
Dead birds sacrificed, so I can lie here in comfort:
my eiderdown is stuffed with dull dry winter coats.
Gold and silver, the last breath going out of him,
this warrior destined to dance before a cruel sun.
His ultimate spoken threads, so delicate, so thin,
they run, blood and water, through his pierced side,
sorrowful beneath the spectator’s stare. Ice cold,
this water on which he no longer dares nor cares
to walk. Rich silk: this tapestry woven with another
man’s words. Ghosts shunt back and forth across ice.
Late autumn mists confuse the paths, leading nowhere.