Academic journal article The Hudson Review

Through the Frame

Academic journal article The Hudson Review

Through the Frame

Article excerpt

You hike through that tunnel of live oak,

cool shade and wren song,

then climb the stairs that top out

on a high dune strewn with pennywort.

The sudden ocean and opening sky

make everything dizzy and unreal.

Like the brightness after matinees

and those long treks home with friends.

But stop. Let this place erase everything

but itself, the water a turquoise radiance,

the sand a whiteness that stuns.

just watch the young flood rushing

over ribs and welts, carving

new channels, mocking the known.

In the distance a red and yellow sail,

black patches on the water from clouds.

At your feet, a peach-colored canopy,

a man in a low chair lost in a book

and teens on a blanket lost in each other.

A father and son playing catch.

Middle distance, behind the bar, a boy

with blond hair and blue pail follows

a surge channel, an oxbow bending,

down the beach and out to open water.

He seems to be playing a secret game,

whispering, conjuring flow in the channel.

It's all like a painting, space between figures,

sun making sharp shadows, dramatic

clouds on the move, when into the picture,

in the clear water, near the boy,

a dark mass like a shadow with silver glints,

an inky form that billows and compresses

but holds a shape-a school of finger mullet

trying to fool a long lean shadow

that darts and swerves like the peregrine

you saw once stoop into a flock of starlings. …

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