On our early morning walk we discover a small city
left on the beach by unknown builders;
thigh-high towers of pink and grey granite
warmed by chunks of sea-smoothed brick
that once made houses.
You ask me to wipe sun block from your face.
I do, careful with the eyes and mouth.
Best of all are the standing stones—
druid figures piled up from rocks,
and set out so the tide will wash their feet
before it knocks them down.
Erect amid the flowing green Spartina grasses,
they tilt their oval shoulders
as if it were bad luck to say: so close to paradise.
“Brace’s Cove” from Brace’s Cove (New Issues Press, 2000).
Reprinted by permission of the author.
Jay Featherstone is former editor, New Republic, school principal, teacher educator. Author of books on education. New poetry book just out, Glass (Fenway Press). First poetry book Brace’s Cove (New Issues).