Between here and there   one elongated time

that began at the farthest reach

glazed black pinnacles of rock

minarets thrust skyward

merging with wind-scoured boulders

blocking passage north-northwest

where you headed down the long beach

you and sea and wet sand

willets a-dither at the foam edge of receding wave

that liminal moment of return

a few picnic tables up-slope by the leveling

where all come down

from the cluster of unlike cottages and No Parking signs

past women leashed to dog companions

two bulky-jacketed Latinos   one bursting laughter

on his cell phone

the older other looking down   bored or sad

farther on fewer came

stink   a six-foot decay

seal head turned as if pillowed

eyeless with a look of longing

its pinkish tail intact   almost alive

a crow furiously tugging at an unyielding

gut tendon

footprints dwindled to pawprints   then

just sand and snarled hair

you went beyond your strength   faster

despite your cane digging in

you went with an urgency you did not

attempt to comprehend

inlandward the beach widened in ash hued ripples

like driedout ocean floor

the grass-skulled dune lowered   opposite the waters

rose a wall of uninterrupted shade-green

a patch of gray beach beneath a lone dome-shaped tree

there the water waveless

here diminishing waves where water greened

midway the surface strangely stalled

.                                                above the mingling

a black body of seal arcing   then another

a duck bobbing in swells and subsides

the low dune reached the dark wet edge

a narrow ledge   a bank

you stepped around

.                                                beheld

.              a wide expanse

the broad estuary cradled in bluff and viridians

the river disappearing in mist-blue hills beyond

Oh wild imaginings

but for the sign

Lawson’s Landing   in red

at the left bank cove