Start of March, Connemara

Eamon Grennan

After Bishop

The wind colder even than March in Maine, though the same sea
Is your greens of muttonfat jade and bleached artichoke,
The water thumbed and wind-scumbled, its heroic white manes
Blown to bits at the shoreline. Two white gulls, wing-tilted,
Are surfing the sou’wester. (How do they do it, finding the right
Angle in the gale and—angels of the shiverblast—adapting to it,
Letting it take them the way they were going?) A lone cormorant
Blackly flashes, heading west like a messenger. Hewing close
To choppy wave-peaks, he’s all purpose and intensity, plunging
Headlong into his own unknown future. He reaches out to it
Without a thought, while I have to go back now the way I came
Along wet sand that’s glistening as if with relief, my own footsteps
Already washed away without a trace. Rock and water have to be
Our elements here, and today the buffeting air—which these plovers
Pay no mind to, a little tribe rising as one, spinning into wind and
Whistling their few shrill notes of excitement in flight: glitterwings
Making their mark an instant against green gape-water, then gone.

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