Sandy Hook Light

for my father

We step inside the octagon
pillar. And we ascend.
Each turn of the spiral
stair breaks another one of your words
from its memory foothold—

loom ing
bar ri er
in can des cent
sand bar
un der tow.

Syllables smash
against the white-washed
concrete floor base below
and dissolve without leaving
any echo
residue. 1764, the year
it was built, splits
open—decades spill
onto the treads we’ve just climbed.
By the time we reach
the lanthorn, the Fresnel lens
freshly cleaned and functioning
into the 21st century, the sky
has cleared for us
to see in all directions—Atlantic Ocean,
Jersey Coast, Verrazano Narrows
Bridge, the Empire State
Building 20 miles north.
In the heat trapped inside and panorama opening wide, whole sentences fly
off our tongues, circumnavigating
enunciation. Did they jump,
or were they pushed? I can retrieve them
later, if you wish. For now,
it’s just you and me, Dad,
on the beam
that can be seen 19 miles
at sea on a clear night.
For now, we are the fixed white light.

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5 thoughts on “Sandy Hook Light

    • Dan and Amy: Yes, I am. My father passed away a week ago, and I have not been able to put together any new posts for the blog. I am still writing a poem a day and should be able to get something new posted soon. Thanks for asking.

      Like

  1. Absolutely stunning poetry! A pleasure to read from all aspects… imaginative creative & good word choices. I really enjoyed it thanks for sharing.
    Sorry about your father, it’s a hard time to go through… one can sometimes dig strength & consolation, out of words.

    Like

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