AUGUST 1957 by Pam Shack


— for R —

wed just two days
our trusty ten-year old Pontiac, brand new to us
“only 4000 miles on it — I just drove it to church on Sundays”
spent half of the eight hundred dollars we’d saved
the other half for our honeymoon – his first vacation in five years

Natural History magazine – a tiny ad
The Island Inn, Monhegan Island, Maine
American plan (lobster dinners extra)
ocean views, forest walks, swimming, quiet
ferry from Port Clyde
salty breezes, soaring gulls, seafoam,
fresh air!

welcome! our little room overlooks the meadow
down to breakfast – grey-haired heads turn and stare at us
then smile and warmly greet the newlyweds

a hazy morning
walking through Cathedral Woods
towering firs, soft mossy carpet, lush ferns and tiny summer flowers
follow the trail to Whitehead
we hear the pounding surf
and come upon the grandeur as the fog lifts
to reveal the craggy cliffs and raging sea
grab the box lunch and away to the cove
greet an artist capturing the beauty of the day

barnacles scrape but blood goes unnoticed in the icy swim
luminous jelly fish float around me
something tickles my legs, swims away quickly, returns for a nibble
we picnic on the sunny rocks, delighting in the clear air
watching insects and birds – names unknown to us: citydwellers
after supper we gather on the porch, an evening ritual
gaze across to Manana – hermit’s sheep roam the hillside
I shiver and he puts his jacket round my shoulders
holds his arm there
grey heads nod their approval
and we all sigh as the sea blazes with the glory of the setting sun
then fades quietly into the starry night

Pam Shack