Each of Us an Industry of Looking

At the Beach This Morning

There we were, Penelope,
my Border Collie mix, and I,
one godless the other faithful,
observing the fiery orange
at the left side of the horizon,
no bigger than my thumb, say,
shy in profile, exhausting another
of its ration of daybreaks,
while off to the far right
the ghostly white spider moon,
dangling by its dreamy thread.
That’s when Lady P barked
at the blind man measuring
each step slowly emerging
out of the shadows, a duel
of balance and resolve. Indeed,
miles from town, how had he
gotten here? Head tilted toward
the waves, as if listening
to their instruction, his own
intuition. That’s when, out
of the dunes, the deer came,
a buck, doe and three yearlings,
frozen in a jittery vigilance,
the wonder of their long elegance
turning to find us, Penelope,
obeying my call of silence, bursting
with an excitement the blind man
sensed, turning toward them,
their poise, their keenness,
each of us suddenly an industry
of looking, of not breathing,
a tiny fragile presence, colliding
scraps of discernment, each
suddenly vanishing back
into the bright vagueness
from which we came

Philip Schultz


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