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Afternoon Off

Some out riding, some on skates, some promenading

with strollers—“Take me for a ride in your car, car”

bumps to the offbeat, wheel gimpy.

The waves, blue and twinkling, scallop in mildly,

foam kitchy-cooing, music of milk kisses puckering, popping.

A day so bread-and-jam fine, so red-shovel fine

the kids dig holes and watch water fill them, dig holes

and watch water fill them. So golden-glow fine,

here at the end of the world, on a Friday,

playcalls dispersing, moms walking

elephant-style, blankets under one arm,

tote bags with sleeves dangling out the top

banging knees from the other.

Over there, a drift-stick upright in the sand.

Over there, a fat butt in blue dots.

Over there, farther, the silver-white ferries

putter like dreaming. Heads and cars, shiny as pins,

gleam to their green homes on the island.

I’m here on a bench, bike leaned at my knee,

my bag with its sunscreen and notebook,

small bottle, from home, of fresh water.

from Poetry Northwest WEBMore by Molly Tenenbaum from the library

Copyright © Molly Tenenbaum
Used with the permission of the author
on behalf of Poetry Northwest.

Published in Molly Tenenbaum Poems

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this (publication, website, exhibit, etc.) do not necessarily represent those of the Idaho Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.