Sesuit Harbor song

We never went to your father’s river
though far north of here we stood

on a jetty at the end of a normal day
while my mother took pictures of the sky.

Heartbreak is heartbreak at any age:
always too big to fit into a single person.

Pick any shell off this Cape Cod beach
and listen: the sound goes on forever although

every shell’s message is short: “I’m alive
and well” though it always arrives a lifetime

too late or should we assume the life is ours?
Sunset was so big, like a normal day’s sunset

with a bonus sunset for tourists, my mother
had to take another picture and another.

Still the sky wouldn’t fit. And in every photo
you and I stood among strangers like every

group that gathers by happenstance along water
and each held a shell and my mother took

their picture and wrote their names in a notebook
I found years later far from her photographs

and she told them how I laughed so heartily
as an infant people would interrupt my naps

just to watch me wake up and laugh and it
found its way into their heads so that even when

it left a memory had formed around it like a shell
and it was their own laughter saying I’m alive

and well and I wish you all well without your names
in my mother’s pictures with my father at her side

5 thoughts on “Sesuit Harbor song

  1. Pleasant Street

    I love this, and read it twice. It describes so well, though my memories are much different in composite than yours, how I feel about these photos and faces arrayed in my room where I try to put them in an order. It’s both sad and joyful at once.


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