Orange Life Jacket
Come back in an hour, dear, the sun will ruin your skin. Margaret
walked a path through woods, down a cliff to the beach. Sun lunch
restaurant good-bye. The tide rising, ebbing, whether she were there
or not. Don't spend so much time staring, dear. You'll be wearing
spectacles before you're thirty. Tiny, white clam shells, the
brown hulk of a horseshoe crab. Off shore, a sailboat on its mooring.
Margaret would row the dinghy out. Small orange life jacket, bobbing.
She pulled against the oarlocks. Green water, clear to the bottom.
A fish jumped, and a dragonfly hovered, settling for a moment on a
wet oar. Margaret, you've gone too far out! Oars slipping,
water splashing into the boat. Orange light restless window.
There is no excuse, George, for poor judgement! She had listened
at the top of the stairs. You were seen walking with her at the
picnic. For breakfast: no eggs, only toast. A day spent shaking
out cushions and bedcovers. Clean white swept wind. Margaret watched
for a thunderstorm, the bending of trees, a boat washed up.