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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & Owner
Ray Rasmussen, General Editor

Volume 11, Number 4, December 2017
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Glenn A. Coats
Carolina Shores, North Carolina, USA


Spring Thaw

The beach is deserted. There are no fishermen perched on the jetty, no rowboats drifting by the pier; no picnickers under the pavilion. We walk along the sand, pass by waves of seaweed and sticks that piled up through winter, stoop down and sort through shells and crab legs, hold bits of smooth glass up the light.

I tell you about the woman who lived by the second pier, how she used to look out for me when I was a child. “Watch out for those motor boats,” she’d say. “They swing too close to shore.” I can’t recall her name now or the last time I saw her.

Most of the cottages are still boarded up. One couple has returned and they are trimming trees in their yard. There are piles of brush and leaves. “They are ready for a bonfire,” you say.

You talk about the town we grew up in, how everyone migrated to Main Street after school, mingled on corners and in soda shops. Cars rolled down the street with radios blasting, pick-up trucks shivered like horses, couples sat close together, hands flicked cigarettes out windows. You say you saw me once, hair down over my eyes, skinny as a stick, wearing a yellow jacket with my initials on it.

We wander to the yacht basin and the sun is getting low in the sky. Wind from the bay feels like snow. You show me the goose bumps on your arms. I hold you and say, “I never thought we’d walk this far.”

enough
to roll a stone
pull of tides

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