Produced by Dennis Camire
This week’s poem is by former Portland poet laureate, Marcia Brown, of Cape Elizabeth.
By Marcia Brown
End of summer languor has set in. Lowering
sun quickens the gilded evenings
we have loved. One last social
down the beach plants wine glasses in our hands.
We stand overlooking the chop, knocking back sorrow —
another one gone, everyone getting old. Why
can’t I remember the names of our host’s
grown children? Out the window, a pale moon —
milk glass platter in the paint-chipped cupboard.
Someone at the grille is telling an old joke badly.
Suddenly a break in the clouds — Look!
a voice sings out, at all the fish! And we look
where a thousand silver flashings
churn the waves into spangled nets of lights
cast from invisible boats. The moon pulls the tide
and the quicksilver fish cavort like midnight revelers
at an end of summer party who, still wearing
their gowns and finery, plunge drunkenly
into the pool, their ornaments dazzling
as fireworks. It’s the Grand Finale
lifting us up in its crescendos of falling light.
We don’t want it to end except we do
because it must end — everything
has to end. And like that: the fish vanish
into a black sea, leaving us dazzled
and consoled. On faint trails of smoke, we lean
into the homeward dark, into the burnt air of endings.
Dennis Camire can be reached at [email protected]