GIDEON

1

in a beachside motel lacking
a Gideon’s Bible beside its saggy beds

it’s a mystery
just what else might be missing

I, for one, wouldn’t go looking
under the mattress

even at these off-season rates

2

off-season, an indolent tourist village
still awakens with Boston newspapers

rolled up on narrow sidewalks only
now most stores open about noon if at all

and workmen pound new yellow shakes
between weathered gray before the dew lifts

their rounds of hammering and rolling surf
repeat a brazen dance figure in a limited palette

of blue and nearly beige you could render
the clouded and sandy past overcut
and overgrazed
excepting the stooped plumes of wild grasses

3

an earlier Quaker dove pigment might
whet the salt-air and pepper mercies

appearing now

as two couples gleaning the beach
precisely as four aging women

once the gulls raise their aprons

4

tan sand, deep blue water
deep blue sky, touch of green
against the cliffs
gray houses or driftwood

deceptively peaceful
the lulling surf

surfcasters at dawn
wary of ferocity just below the horizon
or water’s surface
approaching the realms of Jezebel and Baal

Sunday dawn or sunset
matching the moon
(heart) breakers

Poem copyright 2016 by Jnana Hodson
To see the full set of seacoast poems,
click here.

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