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July 2019 Vol. 15 No. 2

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Peter Newton


In 1965, my grandmother bought the small cottage for fifty-nine hundred dollars.

The ocean lived on the next block.

The salt marsh down the street.

Sand duned itself everywhere.

Her neighbors were seagulls and red-winged blackbirds.

Hardy stock.

No backyard feeders for her.

The brine of the sea filled her lungs and mine.

The same bread she baked at dawn gave just the crust to soak up supper’s stew.

That’s what being out here means.

There is no passing here along the way to get to somewhere else.

The foghorn at the mouth of the canal sounds like a steeple bell out at sea.

“Say your prayers,” my grandmother said to whomever might be near.

A pronouncement into the darkness that sent us off to sleep.

orphan keys
ting in the wind chime
packing to move