At the Cliff Walk

                          Newport, Rhode Island    

Yesterday     she heard an Iowa farmer’s gravel voice
as Atlantic surf dashed smooth pebbles
against a rootless coast     groaning
them back and forth with each great heave.

In that instant she was almost six again
walking far from the farmhouse
and in the path of a rooster
that raised his wings        snapped his talons.

Then the old farmer’s deep bass
struck air and his thick
fingers circled the bird’s neck in flight.

 Yesterday     she stood on a high precipice
above churning agate seas
and heard her grandfather’s dark rage
charge down channels of green fields.

She lingered as his roar pitched
roiling eddies far below
to save her once again.

                Balancing the Tides, Issue 2, Spring 2007 (revised)

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