Poetry Friday: “York Beach, August 2018”

I want to thank all the folks who visited my blog last weekend; I wasn’t around much, as my wife and I were celebrating our 10th anniversary in York Beach, Maine!

“Finds a vessel, tightly moored…”

Earlier this year we had discussed where to go – perhaps Cape Cod or New York City – but I suggested going to the same place we stay for a week with the kids every June. When my wife looked at me quizzically and asked, “are you SURE??” I replied, yes – because it would be a treat being able to enjoy York Beach as adults!

Believe me, I love my kids dearly…but I also longed for the opportunity to lay on the beach without keeping one eye open and visit shops that contain potentially breakable items. So we left Friday morning Aug. 10 and returned Sunday afternoon – a short little excursion – but enjoyed having the time to ourselves, even though the weather was less than cooperative.

And by “less than cooperative,” I mean it rained the entire time. Disappointing, yes, especially for someone like me who loves sunshine and hot weather…but we didn’t let it get us down. Heck, no, as Pete the Cat would say. Because it’s alllll good.

York Beach, August 2018

The day had finally arrived.
Kids at your sisters,
dogs with the sitter,
we set off through rain-slick streets
cramped with traffic, first-shifters and weekenders
looking to get an early start.

Fridays never used to be this busy.

So we sped and slowed
according to the flow
until we reached the highway, where we could park
and watch
the entire lot; rows of toy cars on an asphalt floor, waiting
to be gathered up by an 8-year-old.

For some reason, the radio
never occurred to us,
busy engaging in adult, parent-pleasures
rarely enjoyed:
complete sentences, uninterrupted thoughts,
unshared beverages.
Inch by inch, exit by exit, the herd
ambled along; plotting our departure, we crept
to the off-ramp, scarcely any others following our lead.

At the inn, we unloaded and unpacked, sea-mist breezes
salting our backs
and cheeks, dampening
clothes, hair, luggage under darkening skies. Peering
through plantation shades, clouds
shot pellets at glass
and unfortunate sunbathers, scurrying
like squirrels beneath a hawk.

We ate in. Nearly every day
it rained and all we could do
aside from a short jaunt downtown and inside a shop
or two, was spend our time talking, looking,
gazing, most often
from a horizontal view. Surrounded
by no one but ourselves, nothing but arms and legs to hold us together,
communication turned silent,
and our weekend washed away
more quickly
than we had ever imagined.

– © 2018 Matt Forrest Esenwine, all rights reserved

For more poetry, please visit Christie at Wondering and Wandering for today’s complete Poetry Friday roundup along with some ornithophilous poetry! (and yes, that’s a real word!)

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25 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: “York Beach, August 2018”

  1. I remember those rare moments when we “enjoyed:
    complete sentences, uninterrupted thoughts,
    unshared beverages”…sometimes lost words and thoughts expecting to be interrupted! Beautiful poem!

    Like

  2. And then suddenly the kids have left, and you feel like you’re drowning in the silence and what is your purpose in life, anymore… and… you survive even that, too. 🙂 I remember looking down the ‘forever after’ barrel (last year, even) and thinking there would never be a time … and then suddenly it hit us, wham-bam, before we’d even realised it was coming! No kids. Conversation. Quiet. A longing – but also an unfurling. The next stage… It sounds like your weekend was nothing like you’d planned – but special none-the-less.

    Like

    1. I know, time flies quickly! My youngest is starting kindergarten in 2 weeks, and will no longer be riding along with me on errands, doctor visits, etc. – so the house is going to feel very empty! I’m looking forward to being able to do more writing, but I recognize that I’m going to feel alone, as well. Thanks for stopping by, Kathryn!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. lindabaie

    It is a beautiful thing to have children, and it’s also a beautiful thing to have time as a couple. What a wonderful love poem, Matt. Perhaps the rain made it even more memorable, just you two, enjoying each other. Happy Anniversary! Time is fleeting, happy you had this weekend away.

    Like

  4. “gazing, most often
    from a horizontal view. Surrounded
    by no one but ourselves, nothing but arms and legs to hold us together,
    communication turned silent,”

    and the wonder of that can only be captured in a lightly resigned, matter-of-fact report that suddenly turns silent, full of wordless commitment. May I suggest that the poem end timelessly, right here?

    Like

    1. Thanks for then suggestion, Heidi – I had actually considered that, but really wanted to get across the fact that the weekend ended up flying by so quickly, even though it was not the weekend we had intended. Perhaps if I deleted “time passed” – which, as I think about it, is superfluous – the poem would feel better.

      Like

      1. And now a very good poem has become a great poem, where the implications of “washed away” comes to the fore–carrying both the flying by of time and the weather and the wetness of the weekend, and also some of the fleetingness of couple time when there are young children involved! Nice working with you, and feel free to editorialize at my blog too!

        Like

  5. Must be something about 10th anniversary trips! My hubby and I went away for ours, and it rained for much of our time there. It was still wonderful to get away by ourselves for a few uninterrupted days. Happy Anniversary!

    Like

  6. Kay Mcgriff

    Your poem describes a beautiful weekend–despite the not so beautiful weather. I hope you both enjoyed it. We now have that empty nest (except for brief breaks from college), and I have to say we are enjoying it. Of course, we are glad to see the girl when she comes around, but there is a whole new world to enjoy, too.

    Like

  7. Matt, I tried to see your post when it came out but I could not find it so I am glad that I circled back to read your beautiful love poem. I remember trying to search for time standing still where complete sentences, uninterrupted thoughts, and unshared beverages would mean alone time was for real. I like the way your poem slowed from busyness on the highway to quiet peace. This thought, “clouds/shot pellets at glass”, is a wonderful way to express the incessant rain. We just took a look at the weather report for next weekend when we head for Cape May, NJ to meet up with my grandbaby, daughter and son-in-law for a family holiday. As I told my husband, I don’t care if it rains. We will all be together.
    I love the photo of the boat on land. If it is your photo, I would love to share it on my summer gallery, “The Art of Summering.” I also hope you send me an image poem. Perhaps, you have something you wrote about summering already.

    Like

  8. Pingback: Poetry Friday: Ocean cherita – Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme

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