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3/13 - Sanibel Island

Dear Ones - all morning the loud waves

talking, gulls crying, and bright

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in the loud light we walked and walked

the shore, scavenging the beach, even

stealing a shell from the beak

of a low-passing gull, taking heat

into our bodies, sun into our eyes

so hungry we had to feed them slowly

a fraction of the whole, moving past

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the flocks of terns, wind-facing,

black topknots blowing back, keeping pace

with ibis stepping forward

and back in a water dance. Past

the castles of sand, their moats

and towers, the children flying kites.

Light in the palms like quick knives.

Then the slow devolving of afternoon,

banks of gray clouds, brief rain. And now,

full dark, the waves a whisper

only, rubbing up on shore, rinsing

and rearranging the small coquina shells,

erasing the towers. Hibiscus flowers

fold into dark, their bright day over;

the wind has its say in the palms.

Orion strides above, knife at his belt,

as we walk through the chiming

voices of the small tree frogs, tune

to the rhythms of the island world.

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