Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Holding Pattern I

By Julia Rose Lewis

 We are greeting,
greedily holding and hugging

he and I. I retreat to the beach
to read

beneath the umbrellas: yellow,
blue, green. Then

to the blue bench, looking to the parking lot
the beach lies to the left.

While I watch the end of the afternoon
he takes the flag down.

Fulfilling
long-time part-time island traditions,

the seagulls here are all called Herman,
for the man who listened to Captain Pollard’s tale.

I wore gray
on gray on faded denim

sea-stained and sand encrusted.
He passed over gray floor boards full

of splinters. I have been on the wrong side
of the cliffside for so long.

Here he was an ant
soldier in the war

he taught me was waged against the sand,
afterward I rolled up my jeans. Inside,

he paused beside
me to brush the hair from his eyes.

Learn all the stories the hotel has to tell,
I tell myself,

the little Pennsylvania girl with the man
who comes from the northeast

of Indiana, he points out the nearest
town on an atlas, his family farm

is too small to see.
He lets himself blush; he really

needs a headband. His beautiful hair
falls into his eyes and I allow

my fingers to follow. Yet,
I can’t taste yellow, only old salt.

Memorial Day to Labor Day,
I land

isle while away.
Could I love a place as I should

love a person?
He is

a guy with
a green soft-top Jeep Wrangler,

a permit to go out to Coatue,
a long picnic at Great Point,

Terrible teeth are meaningless
when kissing,

On hot sand and broken shells feet harden,
he has beastly feet;

I have reading hands.
He reaches for his reading glasses

as the sun burns through the fog
in the morning.

I’m leaving,
reaching out to hug him.

Where the seagulls are all called Herman,
We are good at hugg
ing.
A holding pattern
here we are as old as our beloved.


Julia Rose Lewis is a working towards her MFA at Kingston University London. She received her BA in Biology and Chemistry from Bryn Mawr College PA. She lives on Nantucket island and is a member of the Moors Poetry Collective of Nantucket.

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