Poetry: Michael Estabrook
sticks and straw
The poised green frog
in Pat’s garden pond has left,
hopped its way through the woods
beneath the trees and bushes and weeds
to the amiable stream down in back.
It was fun seeing him sitting there
on his rock motionless as moonlight,
quiet as the moon, stiff and still
as a gargoyle. And now, today,
in the afternoon light, he’s gone.
But I’m not completely sad
because the Robin is back, built her nest
in the same spot again as last summer,
halfway down the stairs from the deck,
on the landing right in the middle
of Pat’s huge, sprawling climbing Hydrangea.
If you walk really slowly and careful
you can get close without her flying away,
squirting off her nest of sticks and straw
disappearing into the cool green trees beyond.
Shimmering, curling blue-green waves
slap and surge, splashing
at the shoreline, sometimes foaming,
leaving a quiet jumble
of broken shells and bits of driftwood behind.
But I notice there are no gulls,
haven’t seen a single gull yet,
only a scattering of piping plovers poking
their sharp bills in the sand,
and geckos scampering across
the trails and into the trees,
a large skink or two staring at the sun,
and a thin little brown man in dark red pants
bending over in his boat, sunglasses
dangling from a leather strap around his neck,
pulling the outboard motor cord once,
twice, three times, then putting his sunglasses on
and speeding off down the shoreline
until he rounds a bend
and I can see him no longer,
gone where the gulls have gone perhaps.