The Best Summer in Maine Before the Divorce

Twenty square feet fresh as a bridal morning.
This is a fortnight on the cusp of the sea, 
here in the heart of fog and silver dawn light.

Slide open the door and walk out to see the sea.  
Greetings.  Surprise the great blue heron,
bird on stilts, poking about below, for his breakfast.

Out there beyond the light, beyond the indigo fog bank,  
will come the best of all breakfasts! 
A wife and heron are grateful guests.  

The kids are still asleep.  Husband sleeps. 
Only she can hear the buoy bells:  
where are you?  Where am I?                      

Flap, flap, flap.  Wings of the great bird
are clearly etched, clear against the sky. 
Splendid bird, drawn with a sepia wash, not blue.  

No, this bird is not bright suburban blue.
Look east, look to the sea:  tide's in, tide's out.
The kids love to bring in their twice-daily report.

They find flotsam and other wonders:  
What's this, Mom?  What's this dead thing?  
What's this rock, this shell, this wiggly thing?

(What's the meaning of life, Mom?)  
A water-logged old board is covered obscenely 
with gooseneck barnacles, another gift for me?

Think:  Martian creatures--  
but then remember drawings in field guides.
Gooseneck barnacles:  creatures arrive from the deep, 

from far out there, from the Titanic's realm. 

Mary Herbert