Coastal Shingle

There, totem-stacked in paratactic charm,
The words cascade: Hay.Shavings.Piglets.Straw.
I had not sought a sign from Salt Marsh Farm,
But since this was the only one I saw,
I turned from what had been my course till then,
Meaning, while sun was shining still that day,
To give up dwelling on what might have been,
And, thus converted, turn to making hay,
And banking on the prudent meager savings.
I set myself to planing what was rough,
In hopes of selling all resultant shavings
Until my thrift had rendered me enough
To build a house of bricks and not of twigs—
Bricks made of mud and straw, by little pigs.


At the Reading

Begrudging hands left listless in his lap,
The man who’d come to hear The Golden Word,
And bless it with his thankful thunderclap,
Could not believe the leaden dross he heard.
Still, seeing hands on which most others sat,
He summoned up a tepid pity-pat.


Len Krisak is an accomplished poet living in Massachusetts.  He teaches English at Stonehill College and Northeastern University. 

Featured Image: Part of a series of paintings of a salt marsh in Newburyport, Massachusetts (1800s) by Martin Johnson-Heade.


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