Looking for distinctive stones, I found the dead otter rotting by the tideline, and carried all day the scent of this savage valediction. That headlong high sound the oystercatcher makes came echoing through the rocky cove where a cormorant was feeding and submarining in the bay and a heron rose off a boulder where he'd been invisible, drifted a little, stood again—a hieroglyph or just longevity reflecting on itself between the sky clouding over and the lightly ruffled water. This was the morning after your dream of dying, of being held and told it didn't matter. A butterfly went jinking over the wave-silky stones, and where I turned to go up the road again, a couple in a blue camper sat smoking their cigarettes over their breakfast coffee (blue scent of smoke, the thick dark smell of fresh coffee) and talking in quiet voices, first one then the other answering, their radio telling the daily news behind them. It was warm. All seemed at peace. I could feel the sun coming off the water.
From Relations: New and Selected Poems, 1998
Graywolf Press, St. Paul, Minn.
Copyright 1998 by Eamon Grennan.
All rights reserved.
Reprinted by permission of Graywolf Press, Saint Paul, Minnesota from Relations: New and Selected Poems. Copyright 1998 by Eamon Grennan. For further permissions information, contact Permissions Department Graywolf Press, 2402 University Ave., Ste. 203, St Paul, MN 55114. /www.graywolfpress.org External
Eamon Grennan (1941- ) was born in Dublin and is the author of 16 poetry collections, including There Now (Graywolf Press, 2016).