The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Saturday and Assateague Animals

Assateague Island, October
By Marjorie Saiser

For an hour my son stands in the bluegreen ocean,
his shoes slung over his shoulder, looking east past
the place where
in the shell-green water,
the water swells,
past the place where
the wave, though it has no beginning, begins.
Every seventh wave
against his ankles, calves, knees,
splashing up onto his old hiking shorts.
He has said the crash of the water is a breathing.
I sit on the sand. I too hear
the planet breathing
blow after blow,
my breath slows
That time when I pulled
your hair in anger. I am sorry.
Let this wave heal it. That time when
I made you, a little boy,
so carefully apologize
for what didn’t matter.
Let this wave heal it.
When I didn’t write you, afraid
your father would misread.
Let it be carried up
Like a handful of small white bubbles.
When I fussed over you.
When I couldn’t stop
even though you hated fussing.
Let this wave wash that.
When I talked too much
in front of your friends,
Let this water and foam
take it.
When you were in the hospital, fighting
The bars, the rails, my arms
To climb out of bed.
Let this wave take that away.
When I was busy growing up
and you needed me. Let this whole
sky-green ocean swell up
and breathe it away.
Tomorrow we will go to the
Vietnam Memorial, you and I.
It will be raining. We will stand
with others in the rain
and I will cry for the pink rose on the ground
and the old man holding a
black and white umbrella.
I will cry and you,
who do not cry,
will put your palm
like a rose
on the shoulder of my damp coat.
Name after name
name after name
rolls in us and upon us
healing you, healing me.


My day involved laundry, cleaning, more laundry, two showers to make sure nothing was crawling on me because even though I had no evidence anything was, I now feel at all times like something might be, a visit from a roofing specialist who asked for three times the going local rate to fix our roof, a visit with the next door neighbor who's also trying to fix her room (we have similar storm and squirrel issues), a visit with our cat-sitting neighbor who brought our happy cats treats, a late dinner of sandwiches after all this socializing, and The Lost World: Jurassic Park with Cheryl and Paul. Rather than reiterate my rage about my house, my life, not-my-president, and various other things, here are photos of things I wish I were seeing on Assateague Island right now!









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