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.