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July 1, 2012, vol 8, no 2

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Penny Harter


An Insistent Tide

The water comes in, not a tsunami but an insistent tide that rolls through city streets, rises on every building. We climb a labyrinth of stairs and tiny rooms to the high cubby we know to be ours in this vertical community, hoping the tide will spare us. And as we watch out our allotted window, it recedes, leaving the trees a brighter green, the streets swept clean and glistening.

at the center
of the maze, a circle
of blue sky

Suddenly we are hungry and wind our way down to a lower floor where a deli is offering free sandwiches and pastry treats. We fill our hands, keeping some of each for ourselves, passing more out to the others crowding the counter, and there is enough for everyone.

fresh trout sizzling
in the cast-iron pan—
wind from the sea

And I wake, knowing that this is the second dawn I have dreamed a flood.

fog shrouds
the field's edge—
we keep walking




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