Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2011 v10n1
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Carver by the Sea
     Port Angeles, Washington

Memorial beach stones have been jumbled by the gravestone.
Bits of green and yellow grass cling to them.
I remember the gray doily of his wig weeks before he died
When puffy with chemo he looked like Wallace Stevens.          

Here the polished slab with its poem reads like a page.
A tackle box soldered in beside it holds a notebook and pen.
Many notes have been answered by his widow
Who one day as she has designated will lie beside him.

The line of snowy peaks across the strait
Is like an undiscovered country
Those lying here don’t need to discover.
The appeal of a distant landscape? In the distance things are better.

Sober light. Sobering scenery. Turning giddy
With the spirits of cut wet grass and a pair of lovers—
The groundskeeper with weed whacker and his girlfriend taking some time,
Tattooed I’ll bet with one another’s signs.

The surf grumbles. The whacker’s engine whip-starts again.
Why write him a note, my friend asks,
If Ray won’t be reading it?
As soon say thanks to him here as anywhere.

All of it almost picturesque. And not quite.  end

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