Two feet, heavier than usual
Pulled along by four carefree dog feet
Miles each day
Nothing but time
Wearing a path along Rye Beach Avenue
Over the muddy grass of rolling hills
Each morning more emerald shoots
Push through last year’s fallen leaves
Keeping a steady pace on boardwalk slats
Dogs kiss and wag, humans smile and wave
A fiery sunrise gives way to a clear morning sky
Like the burnt-orange feathers
beneath the bold blue of a bluebird
Nature — the only thing that hasn’t
And can’t
Be canceled
A landscape that soothed
Through the typical ups and downs
Now a sanctuary
Where life marches on
Raising the question,
“What have we taken for granted?”
A park, the heart of our town, still beating
In these strange silent moments
Of forced solitude
As the elements of nature
And stories from the past
Speak
Podcasts have run dry from increased mileage
Malcolm, Oprah, Michael, Freakonomics
All caught up, nothing new
Now eyes and ears must now do the work
Finding entertainment
In the soundtracks and paintings outdoors
Finally, time to listen
To the gentle lapping waves
The calm Long Island Sound
Predictable, rhythmic
Pressing on soft, damp sand
Rye’s shimmering crescent beach
Could be a faraway coastal town
Italy, Spain
Lighthearted memories from family vacations
Towns full of people
Millions of lives on pause
Grateful for small things
The beach, open off-season
A dog bounding for balls
Feet wading through sand
Arms giving one more toss because today, there’s time
The sun, rising higher, brightens the palette
Of the canvas below
The towers and tunnels of hundred-year-old pavilions
Leisure time landmarks of whimsy and wonder
Gathering places, architectural gifts
Crumbling, imperfect walls of toasted sand
Cracks and corners in need of repair
But not lacking love
Deep rust-colored roofs on the Southern pavilions
California, the Southwest, terra-cotta, adobe
Playful greens of the towers along Playland
With fences, freshly painted for the new season
A shade stolen from a tub of Longford’s
Mint Chip Ice Cream
Leash on, gate closed, walking further
Boardwalk, sand, rocks, water, sky
Shifting in priority with a changing gaze
The boardwalk ends, giving way
To a lake, a field, an entrance
Edith Read Wildlife Sanctuary
Because long ago, someone knew
This would matter
Turning back, retracing steps
Pausing to watch
A seabird, long, white, alone in the water
Tall wetlands grasses swaying in the breeze
Giving roots to the rocks and sand below
Stretching to the sky
A yellow brick road of wooden beams
holds a steady stream of sneakers and paws
Each board a piano key with the same dull sound
Louder than Playland’s amusement rides, frozen
Tom Hanks in Big
Dancing on pianos
Children last summer, children last century
All vanished from the scene
Quiet, still, timeless
A photograph more than a movie
Walks, days, familiar faces blend in a hazy collage
The rides wait
We all wait
For someone to push the play button again

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