with thanks to Seamus Heaney
Sometime, make the time to drive to Alberton
where the Great Blue Herons
stand thigh deep in the incoming tide.
Lobster boats spark stars from the waves.
They white-water surge through a gap
in the sandbank where the lighthouse
stands red and white, outlined against
blue sky, golden sand, sparkling bay.
Follow the fast-eroding coastline, a little
less each year, past Jacques Cartier Park
to Kildare Capes. Black-backed gulls ride
shotgun on the red sand beach. Piping
plovers charge up and down the wind-rush
of surf digging for treasure, the crustaceans
that will fill their bellies and enable them
to survive their long journey south.
Head north past Sea Cow Pond to North Cape.
Quixotic windmills wave their arms, like giants.
The sand and pebble reef stretches its low-tide
footpath out to the lazy seals basking in late
summer warmth. Sea-birds seethe in great
white clouds while fishing boats bob on wild
waves and a black horse hauls Irish Moss
off the beach to be sun-dried on the shore.
An osprey hovers, drops its lightning bolt
to spear a flapping flounder on sharp claws.
The magic of that great bird’s fall and rise will
drive a wedge through your heart and split it open.