Science & Medicine

From the Porch

From the Porch

Sitting on our back porch, we look past flower beds to the marsh,

A mysterious place that houses cord grass, sweet grass, fiddler

Crabs, white and Great Blue herons, egrets, and olther

Birds that sit on the dock looking for their next meal –

The dark, oily pluff mud that smells of rotting fish to visitors but

Smells like home to us is expectially pungent at low tide when

The fiddler crabs come out of their muddy momes and scurry

To find bits of food that stayed behind as the tide receded-

The marsh grass is brown all winter but in the summer

It is bright green, almost chartreuse during the day

And as the sun goes down, it throws rose pink
And pale coral light across the grass as if an artist,

Finished working for the day, threw his leftover paint

Into the marsh –making one last work of art for

All of us to enjoy.

Bluebirds live in our trees and fly across the yard

To the feeder. Picking up seeds to take to their nests

Until it is time to push out their fledgelings that invariably

Get trapped on the porch by our dogs –

Jack Russell terrorists –

Making their rescue an annual event that

Puts at least one young bird in our hands to be

Carried to safety whle we marvel at how fast their

Hearts beat and how much they seem to trust us –

And when they are safe and finally take flight

We are like parents watching their children leave home

Feeling both pride and regret as we remember how

Soft and warm they felt when we held them.

It is hard to let go, hard to watch the sun color the marsh

For just a short time, knowing it will soon be dark –

Hard to watch the young bird fly away from us,

Knowing he won’t return –

Hard to have a disease that has too many questions

And the only certainty is that one day

It will force us to let go of everything –

So, for now it is a gift

Just to sit on the back proch

With a dog on each of our laps

Until the very last bit of light fades from the marsh

And darkness falls so fast

That you dare not go inside for even a minute

Lest you miss that last glimmer of light

That last, glorious wash of pink and peach

That glows so brilliantly for such a short, short time.

– Elizabeth Goldstein


Comments on: "From the Porch" (9)

  1. Jayne Veneziano said:

    This was beautiful Elizabeth! My son attended school in Charleston and I was transported back there as I read this beautiful poem. The smell and colors of the marsh are some of my favorite memories of his time in South Carolina.

  2. Elizabeth Goldstein said:

    Thank you for your comments – my porch is just outside of Charleston, SC, near the small
    town of Hollywood. We live on the marsh and a small creek that flows off the Stono
    River and it is very similar to the marshes in Hilton Head. A little piece of heaven except
    during the 4-5 months of summer when it is almost unbearably hot and humid and having
    ET seems to make me much less tolerant of our summers. When we win the lottery, we’ll
    have a summer place in Maine but until then, I will remain grateful for air conditioning.

  3. For a few minutes your lovely post took me away and made me think of nature and of all the beauty around us; If one only takes the time to see it. What a gift you have with your writing.

  4. Sevy Goulielmos said:

    That’s lovely, Elizabeth! You painted the feeling and the picture so beautifully.

  5. Reminds me of the marshes around Hilton Head Island. What a gift you have! Thank you for sharing.

  6. Hello Elizabeth, reading your beautiful poem I felt it was there! I could almost smell the sea, feel the breeze, see the colours and watch the wildlife! I hope you both enjoy many long, peachful evenings enjoying the view from your porch with your little dogs. best wishes…..Nathalie

  7. Kathy Van Meter said:

    Imagery that reminds me of Cape Cod where I used to spend my summers. Thank you.

  8. Mary Morochnick said:

    Elizabeth, How beautiful. I can almost feel, hear, and smell what it is like to enjoy the world from your porch. Lovely pictures. Where is that porch that beckons so sweetly?

  9. Ellen Jacquart said:

    Beautiful, Elizabeth – makes me want to visit the coast.

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