September Still Life
Yellow beach house, two decks, bay view
Total silence, not a sign of laughter or of children,
Windows closed, shades tightly drawn, shutting out sunlight,
Bikes, beach chairs neatly lined up in garage,
Garden hose a snaky coil no longer needed to wash sandy feet.
Clothesline, an empty rope devoid of brightly colored towels and swimsuits
Empty bedrooms, bare mattresses, no clothes strewn on chairs.
Kitchen floor swept clean – one renegade flip-flop wedged under stove.
Countertop bare, neither cluttered with half-full glasses nor empty plates.
Bulletin board message from nine-year-old:
LBI is my HAPPY PLACE
With tears in my eyes, I drive away to the city.
Morristown, N.J., and Brighton Beach