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Monday, March 19, 2012


by Lynn Hoffman

                          Rising Sea Levels Seen as Threat to Coastal U.S. 
                                                             --NY Times March 14, 2012

last saturday morning at a quarter past two
the tide left town and it stayed
we were mostly glad to be rid of its mess-
we cheered, though a few of us prayed

pressed for years by the weight of brine
protected from the vulgar air
everything once too gross to float
is lying open, dry and bare.

where once was heaving water
is now shell and sticky land
shortly to be wind-dried
then wind-buried in the sand

from the curve we used to call the beach
we look to where the water's flown
at new real estate with ocean view
at retail space we'd die to own

soon, the lawyers and the cops
will lay out borders: metes and bounds
we'll compete with others up the coast
with their own dried up bays and sounds

of course we'll miss our seafood
and children playing in the waves
and perhaps we'll never notice
when new land turns into graves

or maybe there'll be a moment
when the sea takes back the shore
when we cry and wish we'd prayed for less
and not poisoned life for more.

Lynn Hoffman is the author of The Short Course in Beer and The New Short Course in Wine.