Montauk by Sunrise
I venture the thoughts of these
men who outpaced the sun
to the shoreline, who weather
the salt spray and uneasy perches
upon the rocks that abut their island
and cast their nets into receding
dark. They trace a hymn in horizon
fire to the pulse of the world
they love and keep trying
to haul up closer themselves
knowing so much of that world
will slip through the mesh
before first light. Watching them
for what feels like an hour,
I cannot tell if any one of them
has caught a single fish.
Dementia. That is how she died,
how we’re all dying – withering
into water and fading into sky
with the only hope of return an uncertain
answer to an uncertain prayer
for winter to come again.
No one could remember the photograph
of her brother – the one from Gottschee
who spoke strange German and
broken English, whom no one had seen
in years. They were laughing, so I’m told,
amid the endless song from the birds
outside who whistled like tea kettles
left on the stove far too long.
We were late to the party held in her memory.
We decided to play pool in the other room
while the adults talked and drank.
No one mentioned her name,
until Danny struck the cue ball
and turned to Frank
as the nine echoed
into the corner pocket.
A hollow branch upon a wire
reflects each star, and darkness
in its abundance cradles light.
Game boards and picture frames
to approach something greater:
mirror, canyon, sun, abyss.
Nolan Meditz is a poet and professor who originally hails from Long Island. He currently lives in Weatherford, OK, where he teaches writing at Southwestern Oklahoma State University.
Photo Credit: © Nuamfolio / Adobe Stock