The Wave-Maker

Hear the author read this poem

Pawleys Island

There was intricate machinery involved & a powerful desire
    to make it all move. It had been easy then to stand waist-deep
in the waves & will the world into existence, sea, sky, & cloud,
    the ever-changing elements, moving and robed, like characters
on a stage delivering their lines. Or so she had thought at the time.

That was some years ago. She is older now & occasionally returns
     to inspect the charming, antique machinery, all flywheels & cogs,
surprised that it still works. And notices that on a day like today
     the waves are a colorless color that no word exists for.
She will have to do something about that, she thinks, before memory fails her.

Down on her knees, she lets the old familiar rollers wash her clean,
    & sighing, takes in all the changes since she has last been.
Salt stings her eyes. As if on wires, a gull stalls in the day’s crosswinds.
    Down the beach, a girl, small as the dot on an i, is waving & waving,
but the wind takes her words, the waves drown out whatever it is she is saying.    

Elizabeth Spires is the author of five collections of poetry, including Worldling (1995) and Now the Green Blade Rises (2002). She teaches at Goucher College.
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