Buckroe, After the Season, 1942 By Virginia Hamilton Adair

Past the fourth cloverleaf, by dwindling roads   
At last we came into the unleashed wind;
The Chesapeake rose to meet us at a dead end   
Beyond the carnival wheels and gingerbread.

Forsaken by summer, the wharf. The oil-green waves   
Flung yellow foam and sucked at disheveled sand.   
Small fish stank in the sun, and nervous droves   
Of cloud hastened their shadows over bay and land.

Beyond the NO DUMPING sign in its surf of cans   
And the rotting boat with nettles to the rails,   
The horse dung garlanded with jeweling flies   
And papers blown like a fleet of shipless sails,

We pushed into an overworld of wind and light   
Where sky unfettered ran wild from earth to noon,   
And the tethered heart broke loose and rose like a kite   
From sands that borrowed diamonds from the sun.

We were empty and pure as shells that air-drenched hour,   
Heedless as waves that swell at the shore and fall,   
Pliant as sea-grass, the rapt inheritors
Of a land without memory, where tide erases all.

Virginia Hamilton Adair, “Buckroe, After the Season” from Ants on the Melon. Copyright © 1996 by Virginia Hamilton Adair. Used by permission of Random House, Inc.

Source: Ants on the Melon: A Collection of Poems (Random House Inc., 1996)

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