My poem is called “Wellfleet”
At the flea market, a watercolorist points
to a tiny splash in her picture of a cottage
on a dune by the sea.
She says one night there were
a hundred people on the dune watching for whales
and three came by and spouted.
And just then all those people quietly joined hands.
I don’t know, she says,
the whales and the sense that we are all connected to something larger…
it wasn’t long after 9/11.
Anyway, you can see one of the whales
breaching in my picture.
I just put in one
but if you look at it long enough
the other two will appear.
A painter says she was late to her studio
one day last year because
of the wild turkey in a mating dance
outside her plate glass window.
The male sashayed around the hen
for nearly three hours.
He came closer and farther like this,
she says, gracefully swirling her hands.
For hours. Can you imagine?
A sculptor crafts mobiles out of wood
and stones and starfish and nuts,
making these alternate universes
because, she says, I don’t like the one I’m in.
I ask three fishermen on the beach,
who are there all day long,
how can you be so patient?