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Closing Rockledge in the Fall
by Cynthia Linkas

Shut off hot water, oil the table
There we are, platters of fish drenched in lemon,
steaming pasta, water in jelly jars, jewel-red wine,
toddler with a tiny fork, buttery lips sweet with smiles.

Haul in kayaks, fold the sails
Tom pushes the boundaries, scuba diving for treasures,
Jacques Cousteau.
Sail races, whipping hair, wind in the eyes that smart with freedom,
Beaver Island, brown eyed seals, heaven.

Garden to bed, pepper with shells
Sophia on the fiery rocks, long hair shining,
threading designs, beads everywhere, rainbow colors.

Close the flue, secure the storms
Lulu leaps all over the slippery seaweed,
always out beyond where she should be, spazzing, dancing,

Temp to 55, store the lamps
Alie arabesques on the shiny beach,
Evie is kissed, the dog, Maisie at her feet, our littlest ones.

And across the warm, dark lawn ‐ kids fly, capturing the flag,
ghost in the graveyard, amoeba tag
streaks and streaks of kid, phosphorescent in the moonlight
deafening shrieks; captured.

Tuck in the beach chairs; wipe down life jackets
Sea glass everywhere, rosy as the setting sun
on gleaming sand in the low low tide

Six small hands full of treasure
forever in my heart,
Legos; paints; art all over the table
before the renovation
before the years of growing into Rockledge
a kitchen's bumpy floors
smells of toast and pumpkin bread
and little ones in my arms, singing Pete Seeger songs,
warming on the old back steps
in the morning sun.


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