5:45 a.m. dry off in suddenly stilled air
watch cascade of spruce to stone-edged shore
branches filled with call of osprey chicks
distant heavy rumble breath of waves
far from this utter calm expanse of water
where not even the loon rising
into sheen of peach breaks the surface
6:00 a.m. white gold sun rises over white gold pour
threads out into the cool of silver sea
peppery staccato of gulls,
undulating seaweed snuggles the shore
a deep mammalian breath around the cove
unseen seal visits
6:15 a.m. stride up slip slide of stones to forest path
bordered with bouquets of ferns and shattered mussel blues
silky path through curving meadow grasses
weathered gray-shingled expanse of open windows
still silent with sleep
6:30 a.m. on sea-facing screened porch sun rises higher
first warmth draws out perfume of wild roses climbing cliff
bees murmur, mosquito stealthy whine, the only conversation
6:45 a.m. sun rises out of sight from porch view
scent of rose replaced by heated meadow grasses
bees fly south past the porch and away
7:00 a.m. first muffled steps in the kitchen
faint crumple of newspaper,
whiff of lit paper and kindling catching
7:15 a.m. confident rattle of wood stove
flames crackle
water flushes upstairs
first step on the stairs
7:30 a.m. first voice, “I was so tired from the first day”
sea still silver, cool streams of air rise through warmth
bring the smell of salt
7:45 a.m. first lobster boat carves the horizon
scrapes the morning with rumbles, pauses, turns
followed by the arched voices of gulls
8:00 a.m. boat roars around the point
silence punctuated by distant unexpected complaint
incredulous, listen intently, wait, yes, confirm
“Those are sheep!” on island across the reach
first laugh of morning
8:15 a.m. screen door slaps open
rustling voices murmur through the house
Brita asks, “Did you hear the first bird call
at 3 a.m. when it was still pitch dark?”
98 / 99
4:30 a.m. so light, it’s as if there was never any darkness
leave the softness of well worn sheets
push open the great old door quietly
leave the big house with twelve sleeping artists
4:45 a.m. step out in my nightgown into warm blanket of stillness
a world edged in misted islands floats in a silver sea
dawn’s half moon high overhead, a tinge of pink
through meadow grass to the woods
squat to pee on crisp lichen and spruce needle woven path
5:00 a.m. on the sloping ledge, coolness lifts from saltwater
swirl of ocher pine pollen snakes along edge of stone and sea
a haze of lush paleness shrouds the horizon
a faint uprising of rose light drifts, slowly becoming more
5:15 a.m. a darker swirl of rose arises, becomes red, becomes an edged circle,
becomes a solid circle of wild rose sky, cool breeze rises,
ruffles sea into rose petal swathes laid over silver
5:30 a.m. a sound like a steady downpour rains below the surface of the beach
taking off soft embroidered nightgown to walk into the sea
slippery slip and click of wet smoothed stones
bright chill of saltwater, electric fired wetness on calves
crouch, splash arms, face, sink deeper
immerse vulva and buttocks, tingle cold etches belly
stand knee deep, dripping cold flames
watch sun rise into golden rose
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