On a Different Day

Iain Haley Pollock

On a different day, I’d see
the cormorants resting on these pilings
as sign of the once and future ruin
surrounding me always.

                                       On this day

I take joy in the ebb and flow
that I both know and cannot know:
cormorants perch where earlier
a woman wanting to know the rhythm
of tidal water launched her rowboat
into Manursing Lake.

                                   On some future

day, perhaps this water will rise over
the trail and no one will stand
where I stand now.

                                No death to all this,

just some life become other life.

                                                   On this day,

the sodden wood of a ruined dock wastes
more away and a quartet of cormorants
scans the reeds in the nearby salt marsh.

And the saline air calms my lungs.

And the high-tide Sound lambasting
the rock-strewn shore on the Point
behind me seems an abstract rumble.

And, for today, I want
no more purpose
than this.