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Safety Zone

We stayed to watch the full moon rise above
the distant palisades. We’d missed the last
full moon, and more. We heard the mourning dove
whose soft and throaty call we’d thought we’d lost
when we moved here. We’d lost so much, at least
we still had that. Our foxgloves gone and all
the roses, and the mossy garden wall.

Almost the worst of all, we’d lost the sea.
We used to walk at dusk where spindrift blew,
and gulls stood by with stately courtesy
or, sullen, rose against the wind and flew
along the beach, First half the world was blue,
the sky and sea, and then it turned to pearl
a pink or gray. We’d watch the dusk unfurl.

The dusk was like a flag we’d fly to lift
our spirits, pipers chasing one last wave.
And still we spent those days with costly thrift.
If asked, we would have said that we’d been brave
for we had looked into the smallest grave,
together watched it close, as spade by spade
the earth … and hid the pine, the silk brocade.

We left the foxgloves and the roses and
the mossy garden wall, and left behind
the gazing ball, and fountain, the fairyland
that we had planned. Each week we’d find
our name, our places. We both waited, blind
as stone. And slowly sight returned. And night
was night. We moved. And I sat down to write.

(c) 2005 Miriam N. Kotzin. "Safety Zone" was published in Southern Hum," December 2005.