(for Ed Hart)
The transition from sea to sand becomes more subtle
With the passing of time—beaches snaggle-toothed
By erosion, surf chock-a-block with detritus from shore—and the riptides,
Subtle yet sinister, which we once derided as no more
Than hatfuls of rain, now extract from us a prudent deference
As we haul the rowboats to shore.
Clarity is no more easily found on open water;
The simple act of picking off those prizes
Which sat ripe upon the horizon
Is now muddled, confused—those vessels we spy
A hodge-podge of flags and odd registries,
Covert agreements as to which cargoes
Enjoy our de facto protection
Constantly shifting under our feet.
And as we face another uncertain night’s sail
(The stars unfixed, maps and charts hopelessly out of date)
We stare at the setting of the sun,
Our convictions and our conveniences indistinguishable in the glare.