That last day they fled to the beach
This did not feel like goodbye
Though she had watched him carefully
Wrap his good ochre-colored shoes in newsprint,
Place them in a borrowed valise.There was no room for her picture.Grampa cried, tears jeweling From his old reddened eyes which had seen everything
Except this day.
Sixty, seventy, eighty miles an hour they sped
Along that gravelled road to the beach
The dated letter between them like a nasty thief,
Promise to a country lost somewhere between
The stock market and world wars.
Her camera clicked out segments of time,
Captured the heat of that last day in May
As hostile little waves slapped the mean shore
And the steady drone of insects filled saffron air.
They had no crumbs for hungry birds that hovered near
And the unforgiving sun moved too quickly toward the
There were hugs and promises for everyone before
She walked out on the wide muskeg
Another fragment of this planet, empty, alone
Lifting her face to watch
His jet circle between mountains
Shrinking in space
Now a small silver coin
In her blue window of heaven.
"Silver Coin" © 1984 Connie Tonsgard