By Alexandra Barylski
Photography by Sally Vennel

Houses shutter-up while boats
wait out another winter in dry dock.
Locals watch marshes scab over
with ice, rescue crab traps from
cat tailed low tide mud flats.
Windows remain open after Labor Day
during Indian summers,
which return after killing frost
strangles maple leaves
but lets mums and pumpkins
alone for Halloween.
Loneliness returns as vacationers
and day trippers wait out
another year, their bones too soft
for ruddy dusk and salt-rotted roads.
Traffic lights quit their blinking,
services no longer needed.
July is a gift accepted too quickly,
knowing when it would arrive.
So I remember January.
Short shadows, length of myself constricted
to gull-soiled pilings,
clack-clatter song of tires over clam shells,
seawrack on roads and burst pipes.
Heart gone summer-soft enough to receive
winter’s long, blue stories.

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