Where Fog Hung Low Over the Water

by

Patty Somlo

Piles of oyster shells bleached white from the sun
sit next to marsh grown green with algae.

We wait
for the great blue heron we have been told
always returns here.

The place reminds us
of one we left,
where fog hung low over the water
and egrets,
like practiced Zen monks, sat.

Then
quick enough to miss,
dropped
beaks down
and lifted
fish.

I stand here,
breathe
the brackish sea smell,
of a bay
familiar.

And think how hard it is
to forget.

I love the old bleached wood
sheds here

Words nearly faded –
OYSTERS FOR SALE.

On one pile they have put
shells
in bags

To be sold,
perhaps
to sit on a shelf.

Reminder
of the cry of terns,
like a wound,
and sandpipers banking
in an ever-darkening mist

Where just before dusk hushed
light gathers

And the great blue herons
with heads bowed
in mud
rising halfway up
their legs

Stand
in the late afternoon
grown quiet
and windless

To pray.

Patty Somlo’s books include Hairway to Heaven Stories (Cherry Castle Publishing), The First to Disappear (Spuyten Duyvil) and Even When Trapped Behind Clouds: A Memoir of Quiet Grace (WiDo Publishing).