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The Last Summer

Bent-kneed on a borrowed board, I paddled to and from Fish Rock,
Where “Leah’s ladder” still rests beside the great-hearted granite
My wanton eye on the Sand Bar, I lusted after its sinuous profile—
A throw-back to adolescence, when Grampa ferried me from the dock
To the bar; I’d be left (my wish) to prance and play Sports Illustrated
Swimsuit photo shoot in my bikini and long salt-blonde locks.

Here I was all grown, my stomach clenched, leaning like a surfer
Pushing into waves, boat wake and natural, a real temper thrust
Upon me, testing gravity, lest I get pulled as though by a killer
Whale, or tiller, but I continued to glide and guinea-pig because
I poured-over like water-in-air, downwind, a curvy figure eight.

Centered myself, a hip movement long been studied, oozed
In the language of bellydance: notably, an invisible weight
Like a pendulum, drawing a pattern from within my roots,
Chakras, the divine usage and nuance of hydromancy, a fate
Not lost on me—I loved the lake, the vibrant angle of hawks.

Heat rose off my gypsy arms, hot-blooded calves as I merged
Game-faced to mask my zeal; I assembled each funky stroke,
Hefted and carved house-sized whirlpools, tributaries surged
And stream-lined behind in a make-shifting current, a joke
In nature’s back-story, reminiscent of a bustling youth

How I came of age, skimming sandy and mudflat bottoms
Disguising an uncommon turquoise aura in a grey-green haze
In Sheepscot Bay, Little Sebago, the ocean at Pemaquid and Popham,
Body-surfing at Scarborough (or wherever we went), to taste
The lingering tidal scent of the saltmarsh on our tongues.

~Leah C. Stetson TP Subscribe

Leah

Poet. Artist. Ecoheroine. Human ecologist. Spiritual mermaid and Mystic. I write about literary ecology, wetlands, water, Romantic ecology, and quirky adventures with my dog.

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