TIDES by Diane Kendig

~”We lower our sails, awhile we rest.” — Longfellow

My nine-year-old niece’s mother called us from the Midwest. Lauren, distraught,
asked, “Why couldn’t they just run, leave home?” as she’s been taught
to do for fire. They’ve looked at maps. What else ought

she explain to her child about Nicaragua, wracked and wrecked again, the Erinyes
of Mitch. One day later, driving along the coast, we saw the perigee of perigees
made the moon the most huge and gorgeous mound, a “geez”

experience, as we say in Ohio. And too, it shone so full that night, a near coincidence
wrote Joe Rao, an astronomer, explaining in the Times that the high incidence
of sand at low tide was autumn “spring tide,” this widest expanse of dense

beach yet. We love low tide for walking, and that huge space it cleared, like a spark
gap, stretched us as we zigzagged with our Nicaraguan friend in a state park
and spoke of the home she hates to be away from. Under a pine arc,

so greenly dark, so pained and useless as we felt, we heard more from her of Nicaragua’s
mudslides. We’ve lived through its usual rainy season: no umbrellas, paraguas,
can stop it, only wait for the breezes of November after the rains, las aguas,

end. But this was so much more and worse even than the last, when the most banefully
wicked winds and water lashed the land, killing thousands. We didn’t fully
fathom the difference yet, standing in that moon-dazzling lovely lee.


Diane Kendig curates a website for the Cuyahoga County Public Library (greater Cleveland, OH) for National Poetry Month which features a prompt, a poem, a link, and a book recommendation each day in the month of April. The “Nesting Poem” will be the prompt for Monday, April 14th: http://www.cuyahogalibrary.org/What-to-Read/Read-Write-30-Days-of-Poetry.aspx

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