Evening With Lines From Whitman – Hilary Sallick

The leaves of the woods vibrate,
the tide begins to turn, and the island’s long point,
like the line of a poem, parts the water.
There was a child went forth…
In deepening shallows farther out, the irregular shape
of seaweed-covered rock stands dark in the shimmer,
….and the first object he looked upon, that object he became.
Along the pebbly shore, pale-green grasses, a multitude
of lines, dark and light — there’s never an idea
in my head but this. Rivulets carve the surface
of the flats, shine of white on almost-black.  A man
digging for worms is bent over water now
and prepares to go home. His feet splash
as he returns to the shore. He’s climbing up
through woods, calls a greeting.
I hear the wheeze in his chest.
Mud-spattered, friendly face, curly dark hair.
Ninety dollars in three hours, he tells me. Cheerful.
He’ll try another spot tomorrow.
…if they are not flashes and specks, what are they?
Silence. Water pools in his tracks.

Hilary SallickHilary Sallick is the author of Asking the Form (Cervena Barva Pres, 2020) and Winter Roses (Finishing Line Press, 2017). Her poems appear in The Inflectionist Review, Mom Egg Review, Pangyrus, San Pedro River Review, Thimble Literary Magazine, and elsewhere. She is a teacher in Somerville, MA, and serves as vice-president of the New England Poetry Club. (hilarysallick.com)