He swears, emphatically, ‘On my mother’s grave, live eels are the best bait’.
His buddy shrugs, smiles, already dropping anchor at Red Rock near Lynn.
The stripers are running, and I almost ask if it’s due to the equinox and full
moon converging--but they’ve passed beyond me, heading for the dirt path
ending in a toy, oyster-colored marina. They never saw me. The granite wall
is warm where I sit. I’m a ghost in my own life again, nearly pat myself down
as you do after having taken a fall, to see if anything’s broken. But the marsh
has borne the blow for me. The sumac has rosacea. Grey-haired phragmites,
to the beat of the stiff east wind, enact a geriatric exercise class, reach up,
bend down, cross over, reach up. Beach grass shivers into fall--bronze, amber, gold
amid tenacious green. Old mallows, mulleins, cattails court as if young.
A widowed white swan has the tide to herself. The current’s tepid, soft
turquoise is swimmable for the first time all year, but I’m afraid of waves
that crash above my knees. I’ve never gone fishing. Never sailed. Never run
with the stripers. I take off my glasses to wipe them. Ah, that’s better: savannas
ruched like satin, salt hay like suede. Another autumn of convalescence.