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Down the Shore

For meters on end

the air hustles to a stop,

a hurried silence

on a walk.

I pass a tree--

each leaf rustles in my passing

tinkering off one another

like knocking into a chandelier.

I walk on.

Brisk is the breeze, full and easy,

showing teeth, a bite of cold.

I step to a man-made reservoir,

the kind used for water maintenance for the neighborhood.

The sun blasts thru from behind the curtain of trees that line the back of that short waterfront.

Unnatural, it's presence, a man-made

imitation pond, I resent it almost fully,

were it not for the undeniable pleasantry

of the taut surface tension,

the birds' playing chirpfully,

and the touch of seclusion that it holds.

Big tractor trucks line the street

and trash from the truckers

lines the banks of this bit of make believe shoreline.

I want to slap each of them on the wrist,

smack each of them in the face (nothing too harsh though)

and make them pick it all up,

every bit of blasphemed pollution they put out,

the cans, the bottles, the bags, tires and broken glass--

the scourge of our single-serve society--take it all back,

let it fill their living rooms.

But they're not in sight,

and nor is my authority.

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3 comentarios


Cathleen Barnes
Cathleen Barnes
22 mar 2021

"down the shore" is such a Philadelphia phrase. why did you choose that?

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Michael Barnes
Michael Barnes
22 mar 2021
Contestando a

It's a Baltimorean term too! I didn't know the Philly connection. Apparently they say "down the ocean" for anything resembling a body of water, so the joke here is the man-made reservoir has a shoreline as if it were the ocean, per the Baltimorean slang

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Ray Mullineaux
Ray Mullineaux
17 mar 2021

I know that sentiment: make them clean it up! Why do they spoil the earth! How far do I go with

that in execution? Will it stop the waste? Cause proximate is not cause final. We ignore the

costs we can choose to ignore, too late seeing the connectons and feeling the remorse... Archaeologists find this stuff useful when we're all gone. Who will they be?

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