Grand Traverse Bay*
The fog-soaked bay is quiet today.
The surf exhausted by yesterday’s squalls
barely breathes against the soft shore.
All the bright breakers only a memory,
spent throwing froth at the dunes until dusk.
Even the one-footed seagulls are stilled
all pointing eastward catching the sunrise
like tiny toy spinnakers frozen in sand
having forgotten the thrills of October
gliding for hours on northerns till dark
not even disturbed by a bevy of mallards
invading their space dipping for breakfast.
Though autumn’s leaf feast flames in the valley
from crimson to yellow beneath cobalt sky
and copses of birch, aspen and cypress
beckon me toward the blush of creation,
I am fixed like the gulls in the sweep of the silence.
Nothing can break this initial inertia.
Jerome L. McElroy
*Accepted The Poet’s Art (Sept. 2009) for publication in March 2011.