Went swimming twice this summer, and each time
Marked a page in memory’s thick tome.

Emerson Falls: I sprawled on warm grey stone
Near the remains of an unfinished dam

In the Sleepers’ River (perfect name)
The last day in the country, with my son.

The next week, the Atlantic: joyfully
Bouncing in the rhythm of the sea

Two hours of one long blue and golden day
With Eleanor. Our faces wet with spray,

Talk flowed nonstop, but less about the lives
We’d lived as teachers, mothers, sisters, wives,

And more about what lay in store for each.
As the tide came rolling up the beach,

The future sparkled strangely, like the band
Of pristine and diminishing white sand.

A Message from the Editors

Since 1982, The New Criterion has nurtured and safeguarded our delicate cultural inheritance. Join our family of supporters and secure the future of civilization.

This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 25 Number 5, on page 37
Copyright © 2022 The New Criterion | www.newcriterion.com
https://newcriterion.com/issues/2007/1/river-ocean