Life Skills

This entry is part 18 of 41 in the series Morning Porch Poems: Autumn 2012


This must have been the way the world was made: gleaming with wings, hillsides burnished before their dazzle dimmed. When dunes spat back their sand, we wandered through the vegetation in a daze, frightened by broken-off quills and outsized petioles, assaulted by a flotsam of smells, afraid to touch or taste or gather… What wind wrenched away, we’d have to carve back, painfully, by hand. The schools, the corner fast food places, the notaries’ and doctors’ offices, the grocery stores whose shelves were licked by giant tongues of water— What was it about disorder that brought us to our knees? Gradually we remembered what could be done with mud; which crystals broken off from rocks along the beach might pass for salt. It took a while before we sighted birds. The first bright sun came through thick drapes of cloud that looked like women’s breasts. The shore resembled none that we had ever seen before. Someone began to write an almanac of our days— New kinds of growth no longer matched with our old reckoning of time. Someone took pains to straighten a row of stones above the water line.


In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

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