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)
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.
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.
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.
That’s lovely, Elizabeth! You painted the feeling and the picture so beautifully.
Reminds me of the marshes around Hilton Head Island. What a gift you have! Thank you for sharing.
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
Imagery that reminds me of Cape Cod where I used to spend my summers. Thank you.
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?
Beautiful, Elizabeth – makes me want to visit the coast.