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Two Poems


The Box Kite

The lift, the very lift and pull of it!
They'd wasted the summer morning,

father and son in the devil's
breath of July—gnats wheedling

madly above the drive—pasting Sunday comics
across the struts, like the canvas skin

of a Sopwith Camel. Into the close-gnawn yard
with its humpback boulder,

they dragged it triumphantly, unreeling the twine
until the contraption yanked itself

from bald earth, high above
the matchbox houses by the sweetly reeking bog,

beneath the shadow of woods,
to a height where a boy might peer over the horizon

to Boston—and beyond, the ocean.
The son was my father. I tottered at his legs,

having borrowed his name and my grandfather's.
They paid out the ramshackle affair

until it became a postage stamp. The line
burned a bloody groove into my palms,

the last time they stood at ease with each other.
 

Sea Turtles

And there they were, sandy, armored,
clawing their way from beach potholes,

one with a fragment of egg stuck to his head.
The ocean lay exhausted,

a blue sheet feathered with froth,
working its businesslike way toward the dunes,

as if it had an appointment never to be met.
Baby waves fanned across the sand,

touched in by a painter in eyelash-dashes—
frayed and silvery. How damp and glittery

they looked, the sea turtles! They tumbled forth,
jerky as Chaplin or Harold Lloyd—

and stumped from step to step,
like rusty trucks bumping over a corduroy road.

On the horizon, the blot of a container ship
muscled along, running hours late,

or years, if it were owned by Zeno.
The sea lay always before them.


William Logan

Rift of Light
Penguin


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