Donald Berger – Annisquam

Donald Berger


Afraid to swim, some of them walked
On top of the water, saying I’m sorry,
I’m sorry under their breath,
the trees always moving, the flag whose noise
kept the baby up crying,
the arrangement of rocks much smaller than humans
still too heavy to carry
but nevertheless looking like they’d been placed there.

And above and swinging around to the right,
houses too big to be seen completely
but enough porches and windows
to indicate sweet mass, evenings when someone
somewhere must have been unhappy
and gone out there to think before sun-up.

The baby tries walking into the ocean
alone.  You can see sand on the bottom, little else,
a few fists of weed that pop between the fingers.
Here, you don’t have to try
figuring out how you got there.
It’s too obvious to prevent you from doing
the first things you think:
throwing rocks, humming on snails
to get them to come out, swinging each other
waist deep in the foam of someone else’s water.

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